Farm animals cruelty

To the Editor:

I just learned that there is a World Day for Farm Animals, coming up on Oct. 2 (Gandhi’s birth date). It’s intended to memorialize the billions of animals abused and killed for food each year.

Like many others, I always thought of farm animals as “food on the hoof.” But, after watching the deeply moving feature film “Okja” on Netflix, I realized that a farm animal is much like our family dog, fully deserving of compassion and respect.

An internet search showed me that farm animals get neither on today’s factory farms. Male baby chicks are suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive. Laying hens are crowded into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows spend their lives pregnant in metal cages. Dairy cow babies are snatched from their mothers upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

The cruelties inherent in factory farming drove me to replace animal products in my diet with a rich variety of plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my supermarket. I have since learned that my cruelty free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Calvert Espinoza

San Andreas

FBI investigation needed

To the Editor:

When people get drunk, they respond in different ways. There are happy drunks. There are angry drunks. Some just get sick. But, almost everyone knows that you can get up the next morning and be told you did things you don’t remember.

I think there is only one logical explanation for the testimonies given in the hearing. Everyone believes they told the truth. Christine Blasey Ford was attacked by Brett Kavanaugh. He was so drunk that he doesn’t remember it. I am not sure of this, but an FBI investigation may shed some light on the truth.

What is the hurry? This will continue to divide the country if we don’t slow down. This will hurt the GOP in the next election if we don’t slow down. Senator Cruz said, “ this is one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the United States Senate. “ I agree. Slow down. Give the FBI a few days. The country will feel better. This should not be politics as usual.

Bob Gould


Support for Wingo

To the Editor:

I am expressing my concern about the performance of Chucker Twining as trustee of the County School Board Area 6. His area of representation is the Twain Harte School District. His vote in favor of the proposed Pinecrest Expedition Academy Charter School represented the needs of a very minor percentage of the students in his district. Mr. Twining’s vote has placed the educational opportunities of 95 percent of the students he represents at risk of losing $250,000 per year, which will result in cuts to student services beginning in 2019-20.

By supporting the Pinecrest Expedition Academy it appears that he, along with others supporting the Academy, may stand to benefit financially from this venture. Mr. Twining is a Realtor with a majority of his property listings in the Pinecrest area. The establishment of a local school could make the real estate in that area more attractive to families with school-aged children. Based upon existing law he should have recused himself from participation in the discussion and subsequent vote. Furthermore, he should not take part in any more votes on the proposed Pinecrest Expedition Academy Charter.

I am urging the residents of the Board of Trustees Area 6 to vote for Rose Wingo. Rose has served on the Twain Harte School Board as well as sent her eight children through the local schools, including Twain Harte Elementary. She will bring a fresh and untainted view to the County Board of Trustees and will represent all of her constituents in a fair manner.

Rick Hennes

Twain Harte

The FBI and Kavanaugh

To the Editor:

Judge Kavanaugh knows 18 USC Section 1505 makes it a crime to interfere with a Congressional proceeding (see also Sections 1512 and 1513). His opening statement in substance accused the committee minority and witnesses (including those who were not permitted to be called) of conspiring against him to torpedo his confirmation process by manufacturing false statements. If true, that is an egregious conspiracy felony violation.

So why doesn’t the FBI and DOJ bring those persons to justice, and “drain the swamp?”

A false statement to the FBI is a crime. The FBI decides, independent of partisan politics and the committee majority, if a statement is false, whether made as an accusation of a crime or during a background investigation.

The DOJ makes the decision to prosecute, no perjury or false statement referral being required by the Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh won’t ask the FBI to investigate this crime against him, just as he won’t ask the FBI to re-open his background investigation. Why? He knows that regardless of whatever false statements he makes, the majority will never make a referral to the FBI, and that is all the protection he needs.

However, once he steps beyond the umbrella of the committee and speaks to the FBI, the committee cannot continue to protect him. He is unwilling to take that risk. I wonder why?

Just remember that this is one law and order judge you cannot count on to make a criminal referral, even for a crime ostensibly committed against him.

Steve Monroe


Confidence of the court at stake

To the Editor:

Watching the Senate confirmation hearing for Judge Kavanaugh I am struck by the emphatic praise for Kavanaugh’s character and the incredible courage of his accuser, Christine Blasey-Ford. These are intense times with extremely important issues on the table. However, I am less interested in how these proceedings affect the participants and more interest in the long term outcome.

It is clear that the issue before the Senate could have profound implications for the future of our country. I don’t care how long it takes to sort things out. I do care what it will mean going forward. These accusations can influence decisions down the road. They can also erode the confidence in decisions of the Supreme Court for decades. If people cannot place trust and faith in their justices societal turmoil could rule in place of honest disagreement to court decision.

It is essential for our Supreme Court Justices to bring the full force of their experiences to bear when deliberating cases. If confirmed, the experiences of Judge Kavanaugh’s life, including a ruckus stent in high school and college, will influence his decisions even if he is innocent of the allegations leveled today.

Back in the mid 1990s I served with the chief of Coast Guard Public Affairs, a gregarious outgoing man I admired greatly. One evening he was a guest speaker at a Coast Guard Academy dinner and told an off-color joke that female cadets found objectionable. He was called on the carpet with an impending investigation looming. The good captain was beside himself with remorse and apologized profusely. That did not change his situation. A few days later he went home, stood in his backyard and shot himself in the head. For some, when exposed, certain life experiences are intolerable to live with.

Jerry Snyder


The rising tides

To the Editor:

A rising tide that floats all ships is generally considered to be a good thing. But if that tide never subsides, and continues to rise, is that a good thing? Rising sea levels, caused by a warming atmosphere, is barely noticeable to the average person in daily life.

However, an Atlantic hurricane storm surge striking the East Coast of the United States at high tide, made even higher by that sea level rise, that slight increase can cause unprecedented damage. Within the lifetime of a child born today the sea level rise is likely going to be measured in feet, not inches, as it is today.

But there is another rising tide. That is population. Right now, the population of California is rising at a rate of about 1-1.5 percent or about 500,000 per year. That is an increase like adding a city the size of Sacramento to California every year. The change is barely noticeable until one starts thinking about the cost of satisfying an ever-increasing demand for goods and services. That cost is increasing traffic congestion and noise and pollution of all sorts. All are undesirable but barely noticeable until you remember how things were back when you were a kid, or even just 10 years ago.

Even though Tuolumne County is still a beautiful place to live, many of us simply don’t know what we are missing. Maybe it is time for quality of life to take center stage, along with GNP as a measure of progress in this county, state and nation? Maybe we should strive to maximize Gross National Contentment along with GNP.

We can do something about both rising tides. Simply choose the political representatives that actually recognize and understand the underlying problems.

Robert Rogers


Support for Hanvelt

To the Editor:

Representatives from the 10 high hazard counties for tree mortality meet in the morning monthly to discuss strategies in combating this disaster caused by drought and the bark beetle. The county representatives, along with the state partners, have been meeting in the afternoon in the Governor’s Conference Room.

I came into Tree Mortality Task Force arena a few months after it began. In my first County Task Force meeting in Sacramento it was obvious Randy Hanvelt was a leader among leaders. That same leadership was shown at the State Tree Mortality Task Force as well.

Randy his not only been a strong and vocal advocate for tree mortality resources for Tuolumne County, but for all 10 high hazard counties. Randy has been relentless in his pursuit of funding for hazard tree removal; that same determination is present today.

While Randy has demanded accountability for the counties, he has also offered effective solutions. It has been my honor to be associated with Randy in the pursuit of effective solutions to this disaster that plagues our state.

Nancy Woods