Am I missing something?

To the Editor:

Recently I’ve seen several letters to the editor that complain about how “left wing/liberal thinking” and biased the reporting of our 150-year-old local newspaper is. Being a 40 year plus resident of Tuolumne County and a subscriber to The Union Democrat almost that whole time, I couldn’t disagree more.

I am a conservative person, but do not align myself with any political party. I believe that the actual local news articles always give viewpoints/quotes from both sides of whatever the issue is and allow for follow-up information to be added as needed.

If the complainers are talking about the content of the “letters to the editor,” hey, The Union Democrat just publishes what it receives after making sure that the letter writer is for real and coming from the actual submitter of that comment letter.

After all, the letters are published on the opinion page. If you have some sort of burning opinion that you don’t think is getting any ink, either you need to write a letter to the editor about it and submit it or quit your complaining.

Ron Ringen


Retain Tuolumne contract

To the Editor:

The Board of Supervisors allocate $100,000 annually that is well invested in our community: this funding is under threat of removal by the supervisors. Tuolumne County has various facilities and properties; in Tuolumne, the county has a library, recreation center, pool, softball fields, accessible park for children, Memorial Hall and all available to the whole county.

The county has a three-year contract up for renewal: $100,000 is administered by Tuolumne Park and Recreation District (TPRD). That money supports five jobs providing 5,000-plus hours of maintenance for all of these facilities and services. Fundraisers like the Soroptimist Crab Feed, TWIST Tea and others, provide thousands of dollars for scholarships, education, and charitable events. The softball fields, exercise classes and pool activities serve all.

Events such as the Antique Fair bring commerce and visitors to Tuolumne. Caring for these facilities is supporting economic development in Tuolumne; that $100,000 is clearly an economic investment that the Tuolumne area needs. It multiplies in the form of taxes from events, visitors spending more in the local economy, jobs for locals who spend their money locally, and increased property value.

The office of TPRD overlooks these facilities, with the resourceful and fiscal good steward, James Wood, overseeing and working alongside each employee. James stretches a small budget and he has fostered cooperative working agreements with the various civic groups and schools. The results are excellent.

The Board of Supervisors is considering either dropping the payment or hiring two people in lieu of this three-year contract. Hiring two county workers with wages, benefits, and retirement would likely run about $100,000, managed from Sonora. This makes no sense. If needed, take the allocation from the Economic Development budget. Tuolumne is the “Little Economic Engine That Could.”

Laurie Sylwester


Two kinds of people

To the Editor:

A keen observation revealed the truth. I read where there are only two kinds of people in the world — ‘God Possessed’ and ‘Demon Possessed’ — just look closely at our two political systems and you can clearly see which one each group congregates to.

The one tries to elevate Godly things and the other pushes and champions demonic things, and nobody can deny it. Which group are you in. Be truthful.

Doug Gravelle


Medical thievery

To the Editor:

The conversation got to Medicare-for-all. “If healthcare is a $3.6 trillion a year enterprise and insurance is one trillion, and Medicare operates on 2-3 percent overhead, what more do you need to know?” I offered. “Just bypass insurance companies. They provide zero healthcare, burden doctors and hospitals with costly paperwork and stress, often routinely deny the first invoice.”

“But how do you pay for it?” my friend said. I’m talking to a wall.

We pay twice what other countries pay, for worse results, lowest life expectancy of all advanced countries. (Hip replacement, billed here at $100-125K. Cost in Finland: $6-8K)

“But people love their insurance companies,” someone actually said in recent debates. Really? You may love your job, and the medical coverage, but insurance companies? The coverage may be more attractive than the job, keeping you from getting a better job. What your employer pays doesn’t come free. It’s factored into his workforce costs, i.e. out of your “otherwise paycheck” - Economics 101. Moreover, Medicare-for-all would relieve the small employer especially of a major headache: medical coverage solved, part of routine payroll.

We already choose our doctors, at least in theory. But can insurance still have a role? Why not? It might be politically desirable. In Finland’s model, some people pay privately for real or perceived VIP treatment, faster service, or for elective, cosmetic surgery.

Obamacare was a necessary compromise with Republicans, a pact with the devil, since they’ve done everything they could to make it fail. Still, most Americans now like Obamacare. Can it be improved? Certainly, and those efforts, even endlessly torpedoed by McConnell’s Republican Senate, will probably lead, eventually, to an improved and affordable Medicare-for-all solution.

People aren’t stupid. They know our problem is not the doctors, or the nurses, but a totally, evilly corrupted medical system.

Paolo Maffei


Trump is a lunatic

To the Editor:

Donald Trump is wrong when he says an insult against him is an insult to America. I insult him all the time and I'm a proud American. Unlike the president, I am a veteran, I pay my taxes and I've worked for a living my entire adult life. I still believe in truth, justice and the American way.

Donald Trump is a dangerous lunatic. We've seen his kind before and the result has always been very, very bad.

Gary Linehan


Patience, drivers

To the Editor:

It seems that impatience resulted in that horrible accident on J59 a couple of years ago. Passing over the double yellow lines isn't worth all the death and injuries that can result. I wonder if many people will learn from that terrible mistake.

Even when passing is permitted, if you aren't absolutely sure you can complete the pass safely, you should slow down and drop back behind the cars you were trying to pass.

Before we place all of the blame on Dr. Anderson, shouldn't we consider that there is about 10 miles where no passing is permitted. Many drivers become impatient when following slower drivers, especially for long distances.

There are two or three places along this highway where I think passing would be relatively safe. How about designating a couple of areas where passing would be legal, with caution signs posted? Maybe some turnouts would be more appropriate. Tuolumne County, do something.

A less serious incident that could have resulted in a fender bender follows: I was headed east on Mono Way preparing to turn left onto Greenley Road. With my left turn signal on, I began moving into the left turn lane at the appropriate time and location. As I looked in the side mirror, I saw a car racing up that center/left turn lane. Well she literally flew by me, and stopped behind a couple of other cars waiting at the red light. Congratulations Lady, You got ahead of another car (by illegally passing in a two-way left turn lane). Cars coming from the other direction need to use that lane to turn left into the Brooks Ranch restaurant. Chances are you were also talking on a cell phone.

Jerry Fueslein