Medicare cut backs

To the Editor:

I just watched a documentary about the difficulties some families face when their developmentally handicapped children “age out” of programs developed for the treatment of such things as autism.

It was brought out that circumstances are even more difficult, depending upon what state you live in, because each state determines how and to what extent medicaid funds are distributed. So proud of our local WATCH Program for the developmentally disabled that has been in existence for 40 years. At the same time, very much concerned about their continued existence with the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that are being proposed by the current administration.

It seems appropriate, at this time of year to give some thought to those who cannot help themselves, and I hope it moves you to write your legislator about what these cuts to Medicare will mean for those that need them.

Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Myrna Doering


Our organic foods

To the Editor:

The Trump administration ruled on Friday that animals raised for food under the “USDA Organic” label need not be treated any less cruelly than those in conventional farming. The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the “organic” label should impose minimal ethical, health, and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light, and access to the outdoors.

Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. “Organic” farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers and to grind or suffocate millions of male chicks at birth because they don’t lay eggs. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates, as their babies are torn from them and mutilated with no anesthesia. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth, so we can drink their milk.

Caring consumers opting for “organic” animal products, to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses, will now have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut-and-grain-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams.

Calvert Espinoza

San Andreas

Why not a wooden pole?

To the Editor:

When my mother wanted to infer something really stupid she used to say, “That is like taking ice to the Eskimos.” Well spending tax dollars to install a fiberglass or aluminium flagpole in Courthouse Square when we live in a lumber county with countless flag pole-quality trees available for free strikes me the same.

Ask SPI to donate one. Ask PG&E to dig a hole for it. As far as ongoing maintenance, I once owned an 80-year-old sailboat with the original Douglas fir mast and in the 12 years that I owned it I had to oil it twice even though it was in a harsh saltwater environment.

David Morgan