Support for Kirk

To the Editor:

As a lifelong Tuolumne County resident who is now building a business and raising a young family, I am thrilled to have a person like Anaiah Kirk running for supervisor. Anaiah has outlined detailed plans that will help keep working families in our community, and hopefully attract new families.

His no-nonsense approach is clear, and I can actually understand what he intends to do and what his positions are, which is rare in today’s political arena. As a business person, I am really encouraged and put my full support behind Anaiah.

My wife and I are raising young children here in Tuolumne County and Anaiah’s stance on safety and security for citizens is music to my ears. The most important thing to me is my family, and it is clear that Anaiah feels the same. His commitment to safety and security is one that all voters should be happy about.

Joe Brinegar


Junior college

To the Editor:

As a Modesto Junior College student, I wanted to voice my support of Yosemite Faculty Association and its continued efforts to reach a fair and equitable solution in regards to higher pay, reasonable class sizes, and lab hour equity.

Only 16 and 17 percent of Stanislaus and Tuolumne county residents, respectively, has a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education, compared to 30 percent of California residents (from and MJC and Columbia College are the launching points for many of these future degree holders, therefore students and the community have a stake in whether students are being educated by the best educators Yosemite Community College District can obtain.

My main concern: when our instructors are being paid 22 percent below the median wage of similarly sized community colleges, nothing will stop them from moving on to another, higher paying school. The brain drain will be real, and the consequences devastating for our already underserved community.

MJC and Columbia College will never attract professors who have a passion for educating and are willing to devote years of their lives to students when they are paid literal cents on the dollar. Over the course of a career, 22 percent more in compounded lifetime earnings makes a huge difference in the quality of life for our instructors — and so it follows, the quality of instruction they provide to us. This gap in pay is in direct conflict with the YCCD’s mission statement that the district is committed to excellence in serving its students.

YCCD’s “vision” of “Dream. Learn. Achieve. YCCD… where it happens,” couldn’t be further from the truth at present. It is my sincere hope that district trustees, chancellors, and school presidents wake from the nightmare that is these negotiations and reconsider their last, “best” and final offer. Students deserve responsible leadership.

Melana Cook


Growth at what cost?

To the Editor:

I have just finished readin g the minutes of the City of Angels City Council meeting of Tuesday Oct. 2.

I understand the city feels the need to expand the city’s income is imperative and true, new growth is a viable way to do so. I also understand the feeling of local businesses who fear they may lose income due to competitive merchandise. It is not an easy answer but it is answerable.

I was disappointed, however, in Mayor Folendorf, after hearing the very real concerns of two very prominent business in the area, making the very coarse remark “let the people decide.”

The City Council has the welfare and betterment of the community and its citizens as its responsibility. It goes without saying that the Spence family has been part of this community for several generations and deserves more of a comment that basically “too bad.”

Jackie Heintz

Angels Camp

Support for Morse

To the Editor:

I went to the Morse/McClintock debate in Mariposa. Tom McClintock bragged about how well the economy is doing under the Republican administration. What he didn’t say was that financial experts are predicting a recession that could actually be worse than the Great Recession. How can that be you may ask when the economy is doing so well and I’m going to be getting a tax refund this year?

It’s true the Republican reduced taxes. The middle class will see some tax relief for the next couple of years and the wealthy will receive tax breaks forever. All of this is putting the country into deeper and deeper debt and the $247 trillion global debt of which ours is a great part, will trigger a cataclysmic crash, according to Newsweek. They said the present positive indicators McClintock bragged about such as low unemployment and high business confidence won’t last through Trump’s first term.

There have been recent slides in home and auto sales. Household debt is higher now than in the 2008 recession. All of these are indicators that a recession is on its way.

Although we can’t vote a president out of the office during the mid-terms, we can vote out Tom McClintock who doesn’t even live in our district. Vote for Jessica Morse on Nov. 6. She’s not a career politician beholden to Big Pharma and wealthy donors. Instead she is from a foothill family who has promised to work for our best interest whether we are Democrats or Republicans.

You can buy a Newsweek to read the full article predicting a recession.

Ann Leonard


Support for Campbell

To the Editor:

According to the Union Democrat, Randy Hanvelt has already spent almost $40,000 in his re-election campaign. The supervisor job only pays $50,000 a year, plus health care and retirement. Obviously, Randy really wants this job.

Big business wants Randy in this job, too. PG&E, AT&T, California Real Estate PAC, Vanir Construction (builder of the Juvenile Detention Center), SPI and Pacific Ultrapower collectively donated almost $11,000 to elect Randy. In addition, Randy received almost $19,000 in meals and travel expenses from Rural County Reps of California. ( See 460 and 700 election filing at the county elections office.) Obviously, these people really want Randy. Why?

What exactly does Randy do for them and for us? Does Randy recuse himself on issues that affect PG&E, and AT&T or the selection of a construction company for our jail? He has not done so in the past. Is this a conflict of interest?

Why is Karl Rodefer and his family, a sitting member of the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, donating thousands of dollars to local candidates for the board (more than $1,790 to Hanvelt and $3,500 to Anaiah Kirk)? Is this cronyism? Is this even legal? Board members should not be picking and choosing who serves with them, that’s supposed to be our job.

Randy travels a lot. He travels to Sacramento and Washington to attend meetings on various policy issues. He claims to have great influence and the ability to bring money into our county. But, has he brought home the bacon? Mostly no.

We need supervisors who will focus on the needs of our county and represent us, not their friends or big businesses like PG&E and AT&T.

Join me in voting for Ryan Campbell.

Sheri Malone


A public nuisance

To the Editor:

Democrats should get their Christine B. Ford stories straight. The sexual assault never happened.

Ford testified that Judge Kavanaugh attempted to molest her but was thwarted by a one-piece bathing suit she was wearing under her clothing.

She said that he threw her on the bed and tried to remove her clothing (unsuccessfully). The third person in the bedroom jumped on him and started wrestling with him. She got off the bed and ran to the bedroom door (locked), then ran to the bathroom across the hallway and locked the bathroom door behind her. At no time in her testimony did she mention putting her clothing back on.

I don’t think President Trump is lying when he is repeating Christine B. Ford’s testimony. Do you think our FBI agents are liars? There are no corroborating witnesses. How many background checks do you need before you stop confronting officials in elevators, restaurants and public places. That’s not called freedom of speech, it’s called public nuisance.

Roland Patton


Support for Stopper

To the Editor:

I am deeply concerned over actions taken and proposed by some Board of Supervisors members.

I live in District 1, but feel I need to speak out about the supervisorial race in District 5 because supervisors are voted into office by residents of a particular district, but once in office, he or she is, in reality, making decisions that affect the entire county.

I want to keep my plea District 5 voters positive, so I’m going to focus on why Ben Stopper will make a far better supervisor than Clyde Clapp. Ben Stopper understands financial matters and how vital it is that monies collected from residents and funds received from the state and federal governments are allocated properly and spent appropriately. Ben will ensure that budgetary matters are completely transparent.

He knows having a current, legal general plan, including community plans, is vital to moving Calaveras County forward by providing a blueprint for business and residential development.

His education, training and experience, including planning commissioner, Foothill Community Parks & Recreation District board member and with the Calaveras County Water District, give him a solid foundation and the knowledge to understand issues and make sound decisions.

Ben Stopper understands that a supervisor needs to listen, carefully consider citizens’ input, and make fair, legal choices that reflect community values. Ben knows a supervisor is not elected to push a personal agenda or biases.

He has long standing ties to the county, is an upstanding citizen who does not have a cloud hanging over him for questionable actions in his past.

Please go to Ben’s website ( to read his qualifications, background and goals for making Calaveras County a better place to live. If you have any questions, give him a call at (209) 283-0124, or email him at .

Sharon Romano

San Andreas

Whose rights are protected?

To the Editor:

When the residents of Stent are repeatedly told that the proposed changing of land usage designation in the General Plan is for the benefit of the property owner’s rights, which property owners are they speaking of?

Those of us who live in Stent are united in our objections to changing our land usage designation to “low density housing,” especially when such a change does nothing to protect the vast majority of residents who also have livestock of one kind or another.

While the proposed changes included in Chapter 17 do allow for continued ownership of livestock, the wording also states “that is not detrimental to neighboring properties.” Does anyone, including the authors of the plan and board, believe for a moment that if Stent is allowed to be built up and “urbanized” per the plan, that the current resident’s rights to own livestock will not suddenly be considered detrimental to the new residents? I certainly don’t believe that and neither do any of my neighbors, thus our strong objections to changing the land usage designation in our very rural part of Tuolumne County.

So if the county isn’t protecting our rights, whose are they protecting? I can’t help but wonder if the two 30+ acre plots in Stent purchased by a developer of low income housing has anything to do with the drastic proposed changes for Stent? Call me a cynic, but personally I am of the belief that this plan is of far more benefit to a developer than it is to those of us who currently live in Stent.

Mary K. Smith


NOvember 6 – NO on 6

To the Editor:

Last year, the state’s transportation funding bill — SB 1-raised California’s gas tax by 12 cents a gallon and is expected to bring in $5.2 billion a year “to repair and maintain roads.” SB1, as you are reading this, is funding 6,500 transportation projects today and over the next few years. Compare 12 cents (you get better roads) to Trump’s/big oil $.80 a gallon (big oil gets profits) because of Iran.

After jobs, which right now are not the problem, locals complain most about our roads.

Until the passage of SB1, local municipalities just told us there is absolutely no money for anything but emergency repairs. “$19.5 million directly to Tuolumne County over the next six years.” “And, revenues go directly into transportation accounts and are constitutionally protected.”

Think how much good that will do us — milling and resurfacing two-lane rural road with five foot paved shoulders $416,437.91. That is nearly 50 miles of “like new” road — and the means fewer costly repairs for many of us.

Another thing: We need the California High Speed Rail System even if it takes 10 years to complete. Just ask the 500,000 daily Bay Area commuters how they would be without

BART. In the early 60s many “no tax” ideologues fought to stop it — but look how great it is now to have BART. The same will be true for the CHSRS.

Join those who are voting no on Proposition 6: California Professional Firefighters, California Association of Highway Patrolmen, Emergency responders and paramedics, California Chamber of Commerce, California League of Conservation Voters, League of Women Voters of California, California State Association of Counties, League of California Cities, California Alliance for Jobs, Congress of California Seniors and hundreds more.

Domenic Torchia


Support for Kerns

To the Editor:

With so much focus on upcoming national elections, I hope people don’t forget about local, Tuolumne County offices. Offices like the TUD Board.

The Tuolumne Utilities District has an impact on voter’s lives every day. Water, for example. TUD provides our citizens with ample, clean, and healthy water. It’s critical.

My TUD vote is going to Jeff Kerns. I’ve known Jeff for more than 40 years. Is he qualified? Well, start with his decades of experience running a business. Add in the decades he’s spent running (and helping run) a small water company. Jeff listens well. And he thinks, too.

But the single thing I like best about Jeff for TUD is his long-range vision. Long-range vision about critical infrastructure? That’s as refreshing as a cool glass of water.

Vote Jeff Kerns for TUD Board.

Bradley Young

Twain Harte