Remember Our Troops Past and PRESENT

To the Editor:

The U.S. Post Office has done it again! Raised fees to send care packages to the troops overseas.

If we didn’t have to pay so much to send packages, look how many more we could send.

A recent thank you note from a thankful soldier said, “It is so nice that the folks back home still remember us over here.”

Jackie Baker,


Great show

To the Editor:

Last night, my wife and I went to the opening of Barefoot in the Park at the Murphys Creek Theatre. OMG!!! It is amazing! We never laughed so hard in our lives.

Maryann Curmi did a great job picking the cast and directing them. Thank you. We are so lucky to have this great theatre in our backyard. For any one who loves Neil Simon and comedy we recommend you go see it. Thanks again.

Chuck and Audrey Hurtibus


Gray should retire

To the Editor:

Auditors Macias, Gini and O’Connell found the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority was established without proper policies that would have prevented Larry Cope from abusing his position. The bill for that audit was $41,250. Clearly, Cope took advantage of the absence of those policies.

John Gray did not complain about Cope’s abuses, perhaps because be was busy having lunch with Cope at taxpayers’ expense. The Grand Jury raised red flags about Cope’s conduct, but the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors did nothing.

Ken Perkins sued to force transparency on TCEDA, and the board hired lawyers at taxpayers’ expense to keep a cloak of secrecy on what Cope was doing.

Limited information released because of the Perkins lawsuit was heavily censored. No proof was provided that Cope had done anything to benefit the county. Perkins was paid $7,000 for attorney fees. When the City of Sonora and the county dissolved TCEDA, Cope walked away with $120,000 for doing nothing, and the county was left holding a financial obligation of hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for retirement for TCEDA staff.

Who was chairman of TCEDA all this time? Gray, whose track record as a fiscal manager is abysmal. Now Gray wants to do it all over again.

The Cope fiasco put the county millions of dollars in debt, so Gray ordered an $800 luncheon (at taxpayers’ expense) to discuss the county’s financial problems and wants to spend $60,000 to investigate whether citizens are willing to be saddled with higher taxes.

Instead of acknowledging his responsibility for mismanagement, Gray chose to denigrate citizens of the county.

To avoid future financial loss and public embarrassment, I propose that John Gray retire immediately.

Martin Nedom,


We need proper forest managment

To the Editor:

Why has there not been an outcry or information put out on the hundreds, maybe thousands of Tuolumne County residents who have had their fire insurance policies cancelled? Those who have been able to get a new policy are paying through the nose.

I understand there is a crisis. I pray these horrible fires stop. I look around at our county and see all the beauty of green and would hate to have it all disappear.

However, there is much that could be removed without destroying the beauty of our county. I do not have answers but someone out there must. And, yes it always boils down to money. My plea is to those in government stop and at least take a look to see if anything can be done.

I do not have huge trees on my property but every lot that abuts my property has many. What I have as a problem was a five foot hedge surrounding my property that was not beyond 100 feet from my house. Needless to say, it is coming down and a wire fence is going up.

And then there is the propane tank that was set too close to the house. I will be going back to the 100 percent Golden Medallion PGE all electric home. So when the power goes out I will have to wear snow clothes. Then there is my lovely bearing Indian Peach tree that grew from a pit that grew too close to the house. No more peach pie?

I am not a political person, I love my country and obey all the rules. Are we lost without hope of restoring our safety and sanity?

Mother Nature can be cruel, but we can clean a lot of it up through proper forest management.

Laurel Utecht