Don’t be careless with 2nd amendment rights
To the Editor:
This Friday kicks off Gun Violence Awareness Weekend, an annual event by Everytown and Moms Demand, two of America's largest grassroots gun safety advocacy groups.
In the foothills, firearm regulation is a contentious topic, not least of all because owning a gun on the border of the Sierra wilderness is practically a necessity. As uncomfortable as it is, however, it must be confronted squarely.
An average of 100 people per day die from gun violence in America. Firearms are the second leading cause of death for our children and teenagers. Unmarried domestic abusers can still purchase guns, even though 49 percent of intimate homicides committed against women are by a dating partner. In the face of these fatal truths, we must make difficult choices, even if they may be unpopular in communities like ours.
Law-abiding Americans should be allowed to purchase weapons for home defense. However, the consequences of being careless with our Second Amendment rights cannot be ignored. We must acknowledge our responsibility to the safety of others and take positive action to prevent needless tragedy.
To learn more and help spread awareness, please visit wearorange.org and attend our OrangeWear Crafting Party in Courthouse Park at 5 p.m. this Saturday.
Lipstick on a pig
To the Editor:
On June 3, the Sonora City Council approved, on a three to two vote, yet another inconsequential change to the Stockton Street transportation hub and I was reminded again of the saying "putting lipstick on a pig.”
The intelligent thing to have done was scrap the entire ill-conceived project. Mr. Plummer using classical circular logic said he has always had major reservations about the project but voted to go ahead because of all the money the city had invested.
To date, city taxpayers are on the hook for approx $150,000 in "design fees" for a transportation project that will cause considerable traffic congestion at the Stockton/Washington intersection (and, by the way, another $50,000 or $60,000 for the Red Church project) while doing nothing for the economic development of downtown Sonora which allegedly is the function of Vision Sonora.
The project is apparently nearing 65 percent "design completion" and city staff commented that neither the city consulting traffic engineers nor CalTrans engineers had addressed fundamental issues such as bus/truck turning radiuses, turning lanes from Stockton to Green street, tourist and employee crossings of Green Street between the two hotels there and the fact that Stockton will be reduced to one lane for a long section.
I am not sure that the general public is aware that we are about to embark on two major transportation projects one at the Red Church end of Washington street and the other at the Stockton/Washington entry to the City.
If downtown merchants are worried about shopping foot traffic now they should be terrified about the inevitable disruption and construction delays over one or two summers during road work.
Read the report
To the Editor:
After reading the letters on Wednesday I asked my friend and colleague, Terril Spitze, to write a clarification about some issues/concepts that were discussed. I decided to do it myself and was further emboldened by Robert Mueller's press conference.
First, Democrats cannot be defined by the "right." We are not full of hatred, but fear for the survival of our country and its institutions including political, legal, environmental, economic, educational, health, religious, and societal as a whole. We hate the actions of Trump and the intellectually and ethically feeble actions/non-actions of the Republicans; we do not hate them.
Second, people who write letters to the editor should pause and read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, and the full Mueller Report.
Third, Mueller reiterated what he said in his report about his very limited role. He was asked to collect information about the Russian cyber-attack on our 2016 election and clarify the interaction of the Trump campaign and associates with the Russians, and collect information about obstruction of justice by President Trump and associates.
He started the process with the understanding that he could not charge a sitting president criminally, based on Justice Department policy, not the law, but an arguable extrapolation of the Constitution. He clarified that "collusion" is not a criminal/legal term; what he would study was evidence of criminal conspiracy. He believed that an agreement, written or implied, was necessary for prosecution of conspiracy and he could not prove that beyond a reasonable doubt. The definition of "collusion" is "secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose." Even the redacted Mueller Report shows robust evidence of this. I find the obstruction of justice and abuse of power issues so obvious; look at it critically and precisely.
Richard A. Munger, MD
Sonora High breached contract
To the Editor:
How very sad for our community. Sonora High School District had to breach their contract and cancel the sale of Wildcat Ranch property (owned by the School District) because of expense brought about by the Farm Bureau’s lawsuit.
The district administrators cannot be blamed; already over $70,000 had been wasted, with more to come. This was money which could and should have been used to enhance our kids’ education. Instead it went to pay lawyers. SHS District was sued by the Farm Bureau because the Farm Bureau said they didn’t follow appropriate protocol when agreeing to sell 112 acres of Wildcat Ranch to the local Park Foundation.
The school would have retained 25 acres and been paid $1,000,000. I expect that money could have gone a long way toward improving the high school’s ag program. The Park Foundation’s plan was to create a community park for all to enjoy, and in doing so many of the amenities would also benefit the 25 acres retained by the high school.
The high school has owned this property for 30 years and has done very little with/on it. Why? Presumably because there is no money for developing any of it or making any improvements. The Farm Bureau wants the high school to maintain this property, but for what? There doesn’t appear to be any money forthcoming from them to develop it to become more useful.
It is confusing as to why the Farm Bureau is so adamant against a community concept which would benefit all. The Park Foundation has worked hard for the past two years to create a community park concept and raise funds for implementing it. This is such a wasted opportunity.
Janice M. Canavan