Saturday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 2:59 p.m.
Yes on Prop. 30
EDITOR: Sonoma County school Superintendent Steven D. Herrington said “we should be outraged about what's happening in our schools” (“Proposition 30 and the Class of 2026,” Close to Home, Wednesday). That's an understatement. When are people going to speak up and demand an end to California's disinvestment in public education? Are we waiting until California ends up with an embarrassing unskilled labor force, fewer qualified home buyers, a tanked economy or a lack of skilled health and safety professionals to meet our needs?
Whether you have a child to educate or not, this is an issue that affects all Californians. This is not a future I want for myself or my community. I'm waking up and supporting Proposition 30.
EDITOR: I am disappointed with “drinking the Kool-Aid” references that I hear via the media. Recently, Renel Brooks-Moon, the Giants announcer, made reference to it on SFG Live, I have heard it on KNBR, and I have heard it on “The Office.” My cousin Brian Bouquet was killed in Jonestown, as were 900 others (the majority of them from the Bay Area). The Bay Area sports media can try a little harder in finding analogies that are sensitive and appropriate considering how several relatives of the victims still live in this area.
What happened in Guyana years ago is perceived as a bunch of naive hippies who blindly followed a leader to their deaths. For a better perspective, read the book “Raven” by Tim Reiterman. He is a journalist who was shot at Jonestown when Rep. Leo Ryan was assassinated. Also shot was Jackie Speier, who is now in Congress. In this book, he clearly shows that it was not a mass suicide but rather a mass murder.
Growing up and watching my family deal with the aftermath of this tragedy is something that remains with me today. I don't need insensitive reminders from Bay Area sports journalists.
EDITOR: As a lifelong Democrat and a conservation professional, I was pleased to learn of Santa Rosa City Council candidate Erin Carlstrom and Mayor Ernesto Olivares' commitment to end divisiveness and work together to protect the environment, build our economy, improve public safety and make sure that all voters' voices are heard (“Political surprise in SR campaign,” Tuesday).
I've rarely met a person as hard-working as Carlstrom, or as committed to making a difference in the world around her. When it comes to the environment, she walks the walk, literally, living within walking distance of her small business in an intentionally one-car household. She has spent countless hours advocating for smart land-use planning. And she has always impressed me with her interest in an issue that is near to my heart, how decisions made within our city affect the watershed around us.
Hard work and commitment, however, are not always enough to achieve good policy. It takes willingness to collaborate with others whose opinions may be disparate from one's own and to find common ground from which change can be affected. Today, I am more certain than ever that Carlstrom's hard work, commitment, and willingness to collaborate will result in great things for our city.
EDITOR: According to the financial website nerdwallet and politifact.com, the 10 most profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of just 9 percent last year. This group includes heavyweights Exxon Mobil, Apple, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and General Electric. Why aren't we all employed? They have plenty of money, and I thought believed in “trickle down.”
Mitt Romney paid about 14 percent in federal taxes, less than half of what I pay, and he stashed millions in Swiss bank accounts and in investment portfolios in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Not very American.
CONSTANCE VAN GROOS
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