Wake up

To the Editor:

Tuolumne County has long been vulnerable to fire as was seen in Stanislaus Complex Fire (1987) and the Rim Fire (2013).

In both of those fires Tuolumne County homes were saved by heroic efforts. Note: Tuolumne County, a huge fire in the actual residential areas would look very much like the Paradise Camp FIre.

Use every resource you have to plan for this. Listen to people like Ron Ringen TUD Board (UD article Nov. 11), Guy McCarthy and Jerry Baker (UD article Aug. 17). Even though I moved from Tuolumne County after living there 34 years to Idaho to be near family, I hope to read that you all are doing something more about this. Jeff Kerns please take up this mantle, too. Don’t make me worry.

Carol Giordano

Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Irony suspected

To the Editor:

I passed the recent no-one-is-above-the-law protest in the courthouse park on my way from work. The smell of marijuana was heavy in the air as I passed the gathering. It is still a federally banned Class 1 narcotic and illegal to possess. I guess the irony escaped them.

J.E. Kitchell


How people act when drunk

To the Editor:

“A lot of times when you mix alcohol with young adults, bad decisions are made and dangerous decisions are made.”

That was a comment Sonora police made about a local case of battery and assault, as the Union Democrat reported in its Nov. 1 issue. But it should have been a major point in the examination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh by the Senate Judiciary Committee only five weeks earlier.

He freely admitted to his heavy beer-drinking habit and even challenged inquiring Senators. He had the gall to turn on Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), “have you (ever drunk too much)?” And refused to respond to multiple attempts by Senator Kamala Harris (California) to obtain an answer to a simple yes-or-no question. She once was a San Francisco District Attorney and knows how to steer a defendant towards admission. No luck with this candidate. But that’s of no use anyway if you are in the minority.

We may be unable to do anything about a sitting Associate Justice. But aside from that, my point is not how much someone imbibes but how they act when they are drunk. When Kavanaugh drank as much as he said, was he rather mellow and friendly? Or did he become angry and aggressive? His behavior later in the Senate’s proceedings strongly suggest the latter. Unfortunately, the Senators missed this point.

I admit that it might not have changed the commission’s verdict of twelve Republicans versus eleven Democrats. But it should have been a red flag to all committee members to turn him down. Now we are stuck with Trump’s hand-picked boy who will likely to his best to save his benefactor from future trouble.

Klaus Kraemer


Participatory democracy

To the Editor:

Most of us have kids, jobs, housework, yard work and other distractions so that once every two years we go to the polls and express our opinions on people and policies that affect us.

On the other hand, everyday city, county and state boards and politicians are making decisions that affect our quality of life. It would be wonderful and good for the strength of our democracy to see more people engaged in the everyday decisions.

One of the ways we can get involved during our busy lives is to contact our local representatives by phone or preferably email letting them know our preferences. One item of particular interest to the citizens of Sonora (and the county of Tuolumne) I believe will be on the agenda at the City Council meeting Nov. 19. The question will be whether the City of Sonora should discuss at a future meeting discontinuing its relationship with the Tuolumne County Economic Development Agency, which I believe has squandered currently $103,000 yearly (for a total of approximately $750,000 over the years) of City of Sonora taxpayer money. That money could be put to roads, police, or firefighters within the city.

I believe the TCEDA has been a very bad investment for the City of Sonora with little evidence of benefit, over the past years. Please go to the City Website http://www.sonoraca.com/government/city-council/ and email your council members with your opinion, or if you have the time, turn up at City Hall at 5 p.m. Monday and let them know how you feel one way or the other.

David Morgan


Tuolumne County General Plan

To the Editor:

The Tuolumne County Business Council would like to take a moment to commend the efforts of the Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency for their work to clearly understand the direction of our Board of Supervisors and update the General Plan.

We believe that their work will result in a much more clear path for people and companies to make much needed investments in our county. These investments will create jobs and generate the revenue our county requires to maintain the services that we all value.

We attended one of the public meetings which were held to gather input on the updated General Plan and were saddened by the number of residents who strongly fear new investment and new residents in the county. We want to share our beautiful county with new residents and families who will be employed, reside and attend school here.

We do not agree that there is even a remote possibility that our county will become an urban center like Modesto, as many of these citizens fear. There is simply not enough land which could be developed. We look forward to the implementation of the new General Plan and to new investments, jobs and residents that it will help to create. Our community will be better for it.

Jeff Redoutey


A free press

To the Editor:

A free press is only the enemy of one type of people: the ones whose corruption the press exposes. The journalistic creed is to report honestly the spectrum of legitimate views and information. That creed is practiced throughout the mainstream media.

Journalists who hide strong bias and let that bias strongly influence what and how they choose to report will be cast to the fringe and broadly be seen as illegitimate journalism.

Bob Wetzel