Jessica Morse for Congress

To the Editor:

“Jessica must be something else, if she has supporters like these.” exclaimed the announcer at the Round Up Parade on Saturday as Jessica Morse’s float drove by, surrounded by enthusiastic supporters and greeted by a welcoming crowd. I felt the same way that afternoon as I attended the opening of her field office in Sonora on Stockton Road.

Jessica Morse is a candidate seeking to represent us in Congress. A fifth-generation northern Californian, whose family still operates a ranch in the district, Jessica is well informed on local issues, having visited every county in the district and met with community leaders. She is an avid outdoors woman who has hunted, fished, hiked and camped in the Sierras since she was a child.

Jessica Morse has served our country for 10 years in the State Department and the Defense Department, including 1½ years with USAID on the ground in Iraq. Jessica is a proven problem solver, a good listener and a person of high personal integrity. Jessica is not your standard politician. She believes elected representatives should be public servants, not politicians; and vote in the best interest of their constituents, not the party. She is committed to running a clean and positive campaign.

Jessica Morse cares about and understands our rural communities, listens to input from all sides, and as our advocate, she will bring tremendous energy and a new tone to Washington. All of these qualities were evident on Saturday afternoon at her Sonora office when she spoke about her “New Morse code:” bringing public service and civility to Washington.

The enthusiasm of her supporters for their candidate was contagious and well founded. I left feeling grateful such a fine and genuine person seeks to represent us. Vote Jessica Morse for Congress.

Ellen Beck


Support for Birtwhistle

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Justin Birtwhistle for treasurer-tax collector. He and his family are actively involved in many elements of our community.

I work for Curtis Creek School, where I have become acquainted with the Birtwhistles in their roles as engaged parents and willing volunteers. Justin and his family helped build our lovely school garden. He assisted Curtis Creek’s Parent Association with tax and finance matters and started our band boosters. The Birtwhistles have enthusiastically supported Curtis Creek’s successful athletics program for many years.

I believe our school community is better because of Justin Birtwhistle and his family. I know he will also be a fantastic asset to the larger community as the next treasurer-tax collector.

Beth McIlroy

Twain Harte

Town Hall on May 22nd

To the Editor:

Congressional candidate, Regina Bateson, will host a Town Hall in Sonora on Tuesday, May 22. Bateson looks forward to answering all your questions, so come see if she’s your candidate.

Regina is listening to the people of District 4. She continues to travel all 10 counties and has pledged to hold a town hall in every county annually if elected. This is a far cry from Tom McClintock, who is dismissive of almost everyone’s concerns except his donors.

Bateson will work for what matters to the people of District 4: jobs and housing, clean air and water, forests, wildfire, good education, rural broadband access, available and affordable health care and more.

Bateson is a bright, pragmatic problem solver committed to transparency, accountability and bipartisanship.

Bateson cares deeply for our region and its people. She is a Roseville native who is raising her family here.

If you are looking for true representation, come meet Regina at the town hall or learn more at Be sure to vote on June 5.

Town Hall: May 22, 5:00 p.m., Senior Citizens Center, 540 Greenley Rd., Sonora.

Ann Bowler


We need change

To the Editor:

I would like to extend my support for Dave Titchenal supervisorial candidate for District 2.

I’ve known Dave for almost 45 years, I know his values and what he stands for.

His love for family and country are second to none.

He is compassionate in his beliefs, but is always open to new ideas.

His business experience , creative thinking and problem solving abilities, give him the tools needed to be our District 2 supervisor .

Dave was born here in Sonora and has deep roots here. He understands the needs of our community and the challenges we all face, and will strive

To make smart decisions and tough choices needed, that will benefit all of us, in our district and Tuolumne County.

I encourage voters in District 2 to support Dave Titchenal for our supervisor.

Let-Dave-do-it. My vote says he can, and will.

Rob Gibson


Opioid cartoon unfair

To the Editor:

Your editorial cartoon of May 10 shows a doctor in a group (with lobbyists, drug distributors, pharmacists and “Big Pharma”) that bewnefits, presumably in a financial manner, from the distribution of opioids.

A lawsuit from 1999 (Bergman v. Chin and Eden Medical Center) established a precedent for the ability of a patient and/or the patient’s family to successfully sue a physician for less than adequate pain management. The lawsuit was not only for malpractice but also entailed a successful civil suit for elder abuse. This case was a red flag to doctors to treat pain adequately (including medications) or risk lawsuits.

The State of California and multiple other states then instituted educational requirements for physicians to treat pain adequately, threatening doctors with the risk of loss of their medical license.

These days, the pendulum has swung back. Prescribing of opioids has been cut back, possibly to the detriment of patients who truly need pain relief. There is now education for doctors and mechanisms in place so that patients cannot “doctor shop” and use multiple pharmacies to obtain opioids, many of which are then sold on the street.

The cartoon is a grossly unfair representation of the medical profession.

Michael Maiman


Friendly Tuolumne County

To the Editor:

In the past, I’ve heard that Tuolumne County is unfriendly. Now, I believe it. With regards to Sonora PD’s appearance on Facebook: SPD did nothing legally wrong, but SPD was extremely overzealous. Which is commendable but inappropriate. Besides the retirees and vets, Tuolumne County is a tourist destination. That takes kid gloves. Not rawhide. At least appear friendly.

Paul McNaul

Phoenix Lake

Something sinister going on?

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter on Mothers’ Day. I was reading about our president’s pullout from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Then I recalled his use of MOAB in Afghanistan, the acronym for “The Mother of All Bombs.” (Imagine, linking motherhood to bombing.) Then I recalled the two missile strikes in Syria. When these events happened I was appalled, but didn’t really get “up in arms” (pun intended) about them. Each passed as another stupid, random act of our crazy president. But now I think there might be something deeper and more sinister going on (as if bombing sovereign nations and their people aren’t sinister enough).

Surveying American political history over the last several decades reveals a pattern and a trend that the actions by our current president are only continuing. This is the gradual desensitizing of our morals and values. Rather than leading us to great heights in the achievement of a peaceful world, our elected leaders (and since we elected them their actions are done “in our name”), have launched wars of aggression, committed torture and other illegal acts (soon to receive a “seal of approval” with the appointment of one of the head torturers to lead the CIA), and routinely slaughtered innocent people euphemistically calling it “collateral damage” (not “collateral” to the people injured and killed, and to their families).

This American trend is being carried out to lower our sense of national moral outrage, to soften us up, so that each subsequent action, now probably a war against the sovereign nation of Iran, will be passively tolerated, and be less likely to provoke American outrage and opposition.

Phil Nichols


Royce was disingenuous

To the Editor:

I was interested, but not surprised, to see that the Union Democrat allowed Evan Royce to write a guest opinion criticizing Anaiah Kirk for wanting to be on the Board of Supervisors while working another job. Mr. Royce went to great lengths to explain how his own running of a large construction company while being supervisor was different than Kirk’s situation and therefore justifiable.

However, in a recent public meeting Royce complained about the pressures of working 80 hours a week trying to do both jobs. Don’t get me wrong. I think Mr. Royce has done a good job as supervisor, other than his misguided support for the marijuana industry.

But if my memory serves me correctly, both he and candidate Sylwester (who also supports commercial marijuana) held down full-time jobs during their service on the Board of Supervisors and would probably both claim to have done a good job during their tenure.

I find Mr. Royce’s accusations a bit disingenuous. And by the way, how about letting me write a guest opinion on marijuana (known in polite society as cannabis)?

David Peters


Piech responds to letter

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter published May 9 from 11 county employees regarding a candidate running for treasurer-tax collector. The letter stated Michelle Ronning can manage three departments in the current tax collector’s absence. I am the current tax collector and I am not absent. I am committed to the job and the taxpayers of Tuolumne County until my term ends in December. I have not delegated the duties of the treasurer-tax collector nor does anyone have the authority to act as such. On most days you can find me at the office managing investments, answering phones and assisting taxpayers.

The Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office is comprised of highly competent staff with the common goal of helping the public. I am thankful for them. On occasion, in my brief absence, Michelle oversees the office but does not perform the duties of an assistant treasurer-tax collector.

I have chosen to support Justin Birtwhistle for treasurer-tax collector. I believe he has the best interests of the community at heart. The job requires financial skills, good communication, honesty, integrity and a desire to serve. Justin has these qualities and he has my support.

Shelley Piech

Tuolumne County
Treasurer-Tax Collector