Union Democrat staff

Thank you

Cal Fire!

To the Editor:

A big thank you!

We wish to convey our heartfelt thanks to all of the Cal Fire firefighters, fire agencies, volunteer firefighters and everyone else involved from the surrounding communities for their amazing effort, dedication, and their display of professionalism in fighting and controlling the terrible fire that broke out behind our home on pool Station Road last Sunday.

Without the valiant effort put forth by all these individuals the outcome would not have been near as good as it turned out to be.

We would also like to apologize for our neighbors actions in not allowing fire personnel access through their property to the fire. We are truly baffled by this type behavior!

Too often these dedicated firefighters and volunteers do not receive the positive recognition they so well deserve. That day these men and women went above and beyond our expectations.

Again, we cannot convey adequately our thanks to all the responding firefighters for their efforts. You are a very dedicated and devoted group and we are grateful to live in a community served by so many caring individuals.

Our best wishes to all of you for your continued health and safety.

Pete and Diana Rodrigues

Angels Camp

Mind your

own business

To the Editor:

I just can't believe what I see these days when I open up our paper, the News of Record is full of people calling the cops and telling on others for what to get them in trouble to watch them get harassed it blows my mind. I am not talking about legit stuff like a break in or a robbery or anything like that, I'm talking about people calling in wasting our police resources and their time on suspicious circumstances like in today it reads "A man saw two people walking down the street with sunglasses on." Are you kidding me someone called the cops for that? Oh my God what has this town turned into? Or another I saw was someone called in to say their neighbor had a six-foot hole dug in on their own property and they didn't like it. Wow, are you serious? I think we should charge these people for a service call - man, I swear. Did your parents teach to quit tattling and mind your own business?

Richard Klidies



is inexcusable

To the Editor:

Alex Maclean's article June 19 concerns Sierra Pacific Industries' (SPI) plan to continue their relentless clear-cutting timber harvest on their land in Northern California. By complete removal of tree cover on 20-30 acre tracts, here is a partial list of what will be lost:

1) The first line of nature's water conservation program, where trees receive precipitation, buffer torrential downpour, and store large quantities in the forest floor.

2) The shade of big trees retarding snowmelt in Spring, allowing water to be absorbed by the soil.

3) The moderation of water release to streams and rivers, reducing siltation and flooding downstream.

4) The shelter, food supplies and intact migration routes for forest animals.

5) The sylvan environment cherished by human residents of the area, and sought by many from afar for outdoor recreation.

In this time of serious drought, such loss is inexcusable, and reinforces the perception that SPI A) Doesn't understand the critical role of standing forests in water conservation, and/or B) Doesn't care. And the Girl Scouts of Northern California might consider whether their "partial ownership of the land" might empower them to stop this unfortunate THP, thus saving a buffer against California drought.

Bob Moncrieff

Monte Sereno

Hobby Lobby ruling: Entering a minefield

To the Editor:

In one of its last decisions of the season, the U. S. Supreme Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietors can opt out of any law (except tax laws) that they judge incompatible with their religious beliefs. The ruling was in Burwell V. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties V. Burwell and stated that the Provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires for-profit companies to cover contraception in their health plans imposes a substantial burden on their ability to exercise religious freedom. This is based primarily on the belief that certain kinds of birth control are akin to abortion.

In her 35 page dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that with this decision, the Court has ventured into a minefield. In its ruling the Court said that no general amnesty from the law should be assumed to be the result of this ruling and that the reasoning is strictly limited to women's contraception. In his piece in The Huffington Post about the ruling, Ryan Grim said the precedent has been set and we may see cases in the future involving employers with religiously grounded objections to laws or policies. Some examples are: Blood transfusions, Jehovah's Witnesses; Antidepressants, Scientologists; medication derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids and pills coated with gelatin, certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus; Honor killings, Muslims. Even domestic violence (against the wife) is accepted in the Bible and in the Quran. Justice Ginsburg may be correct.

Larry Bodiford