Farm to Table Dinner

To the Editor:

Once again I have to express my praise and gratitude to the effort put into the second annual Farm to Table Dinner held at the Fairgrounds on Feb. 17. The Sierra Building was filled to capacity with supporters, parents, students and the amazing trio of agriculture instructors — … Kathy Kellogg, Don Pedro High; Stacy Ingalls, Sonora High; and Rachel Castongia, Summerville High. These three women have created a team of hard working, dedicated young people that all of Tuolumne County should appreciate.

It’s an event that should be attended by every school board member, administrator and public official to witness what promise we have for our future in a sometimes crazy world.

Thanks need to be extended to the Tuolumne County Agriculture Collaboration staff who spent countless hours organizing and putting on this dinner and fundraiser. The meal of locally sourced ag products was of fine dining quality with personal “service with a smile” provided by Future Farmers of America students.

The fundraiser of raffle, silent and live auction items raised approximately $30,000 to benefit the FFA programs of the three schools — money well invested.

If you haven’t experienced this event yet, I urge you to plan attending the 3rd annual dinner scheduled for February 2019. You w on’t be disappointed.

Terri Arington

Columbia

Ackerman column will be missed

To the Editor:

Amidst all the junk in our daily new cycle, Len Ackerman’s column was something I always looked forward to.

No politics. No made-up stories, just honest accounts of fishing and hunting trips.

Mr. Ackerman reflected the time that many of us grew up in. Memories, good friends and a love and respect for the outdoors.

He highlighted many of his hunting and fishing friends to the point that I felt like I knew them.

I will miss your column, from the trips to Los Banos, the fishing tackle sale in Sugar Pine, to your many trips to Beardsley.

Fish on.

Tom Christian

Murphys

Take a cue from the past

To the Editor:

In Thursday’s letters, Linda Boscoe writes under the headline Time’s up to change gun laws: “this time I will act.” But she doesn’t say how. On the same page, Klaus Kraemer says he wants NRA members to speak up. “(But) we never hear one word from the NRA,” he writes. OK here I am. I am a former member of a local gun club that mandates NRA membership and mine hasn’t yet expired.

First, let me tell you what not to do: Stop arguing that the 2nd amendment isn’t an individual right. It is and the U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed it. Anyone who studies the correspondence between James Madison and Thomas Jefferson on the subject of the Bill of Rights will come to the same conclusion.

Second, learn from the first Saint Valentine’s Day massacre that occurred 89 years ago in 1929 when seven Chicago gang members were murdered, most with fully automatic Thompson machine guns. That carnage, along with an assassination attempt on President Roosevelt, resulted in the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.

That act, still in place today, does not prohibit ownership of machine guns but sets the bar so high that only a few thousand exist in civilian hands and those are registered, taxed, and controlled.

If you feel today’s citizenry has access to too much firepower, then demand that semi-automatic rifles with magazines be regulated under the NFA. Provide a one-year grace period to comply with the law. Anyone found with an unregistered weapon after that would be subject to criminal prosecution.

I suggest you make modifying NFA your objective. Write your legislators in Washington. Now, Klaus, you’ve heard from an NRA member.

John & Cori Frank

Sonora

Knee jerk reactions don’t help

To the Editor:

Being deeply disturbed by the numerous acts of violence we see all across our great nation and the knee jerk reactions that follow I would like to have my rant.

I am a longtime life member of the NRA and have no intention of withdrawing. I am also a military veteran who carried one, and sometimes two, firearms almost every duty day. The NRA is the only viable organization I know of that advocates for our Second Amendment rights but they shouldn’t be expected to be physiologists. Furthermore we have more gun laws already on the books than any one person can enumerate.

Therefore I would lay the blame in two failed areas: First, the movie industry has glamorized violence and sex too much for too long. The results are we have unending charges of sexual misconduct and a rash of wanna be bad guys. Second, Our public education system has steadfastly refused to teach our young citizens to appreciate and respect some of our important constitutional rights.

Tim Flanagan

Columbia

Who’s making the decisions?

To the Editor:

The City of Sonora’s Vision Sonora project is an ambitious landscaping design.

It does nothing to ease traffic, add parking, or improve safety. Other cities that have tried this approach have seen retail sales drop.

Vision Sonora suffers from the lack of input. A small group listens only to itself and agrees wholeheartedly with one another.

A greater diversity of viewpoints is needed for any of the Vision Sonora designs to be taken seriously.

Look at where the leadership for Vision Sonora comes from.

Most design projects and grant proposals begin at the Tuolumne County Transportation Council. The representative for the City of Sonora on this council is Connie Williams.

Those ideas go to the Vision Sonora Design and Marketing Committee. That committee is chaired by Connie Williams.

The subcommittee then makes recommendations to the full Vision Sonora board, which is chaired by Connie Williams.

And once that body comes to a decision, the next stop is the Sonora City Council, which is chaired by the mayor – who is Connie Williams.

The old standard for American Democracy is “e pluribus unum” which honors the concept that from many voices we find one voice. The phrase appears on the Great Seal of the United States.

The City of Sonora should adopt that same approach with the Vision Sonora landscaping plans. Great care should be given to making the appointments to those committees and boards.

One problem. Those appointments are made by Mayor Connie Williams.

Elena Linehan

Sonora

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