Letters to the Editor
Published: Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 6:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 6:15 a.m.
EDITOR: I was reading your March 1 article on senior assisted living. I worked at one facility in Ukiah for about a year and a half, and I can see where the residents are unhappy, depressed and not pleased with the food. I was always asking how can you serve this food to the people and expect them to eat it? I know they paid big bucks for this, and I always felt that they didn't get what they were paying for.
My daughter also worked there and said if it took all she had, I would never be put in one of these places. The place was forever without a cook, an activities director, proper caregivers, medical aides and also an administrator. We had some caregivers who were good, and tried really hard to help, and then there were the other caregivers who didn't do anything and were only there for a paycheck.
It breaks my heart whenever I go back and visit the residents to see nothing has changed, still sitting around doing nothing, nobody checking on them.
EDITOR: The Monday article about people who can't get high-speed Internet access completely ignored a superior alternative that's been available for years: Santa Rosa's very own local Internet service provider, Sonic.net.
Sonic offers higher-speed DSL than any Comcast offering, has terrific technical support (real people actually answer the phone, are friendly, knowledgeable and can help solve most problems), and has been serving our area for more than 10 years. Sonic has one of the highest levels of customer satisfaction of any ISP in the entire country (surveys at www.dslreports.com).
Rather than focusing on the problems caused by a big company that has no stake in Santa Rosa's future, most of us could be using Sonic.
EDITOR: After reading the Santa Rosa Junior College Republicans' anonymous flier and their "explanations," this JC instructor fears for the day when these "little Republicans" grow up in into "big Republicans" holding state and federal offices and begin their work of subverting our American values and constitutional and legal safeguards. Too strong? Think for a moment: an anonymous flier, posted secretly, on many instructors' doors, full of charged innuendo but no specific charges against any individual. And then, when unmasked and called to account, it is simply called an attempt to start a dialogue.
No, this is a carefully calibrated, well-planned campaign, by an official Republican Party group, designed to smear and intimidate. Were it not such, and had these students well-founded complaints, why did they not utilize well-established SRJC grievance and disciplinary procedures or our legal system? Their actions, instead, betray contempt for our Bill of Rights and the protection of free speech, for due process and for the function of a serious institute of higher learning.
I shudder to think what they will do once they enter any level of our government.
Instructor, department of modern and classical languages, SRJC
EDITOR: I was appalled with Don Sondergaard's Monday letter. First of all, public school administrators are forced to hold out their hands for more money because we have woefully failed to adequately support our schools and teachers. Sondergaard complains that we spend approximately $5,000 per student -- does he realize that we spend close to $50,000 a year per prisoner in our prison industry system? I'd like to see those figures reversed.
Music and art are essential elements of a good education. I believe it's our patriotic duty to support our children, since they are the future of our country. America is falling behind most other developed countries in raising well-educated and well-trained youngsters who can compete on the global level. Outsourcing and increased welfare costs are far more expensive than minor increases in our property taxes.
Vote yes on Meaures A through J and be grateful that we own property to tax.
EDITOR: Your March 2 editorial "Growing Gap: Disparity in wealth reflects disparity in education" reports correctly on a problem that has afflicted our society for untold generations. Your solution -- education for all -- would be helpful for many, but it raises a whole new set of problems.
When everyone in Sonoma has a Ph.D., will there be enough jobs that actually require a Ph.D.? The low-pay jobs will still be there, but who will perform them? When everybody is a manager, who will they manage? When everybody owns their own business, who will they hire to work for them? What kind of football team will it be when every player is the quarterback?
Business cannot out-source all employees. Your gardener, your housekeeper, your busboy will still be needed here at home. Pay them all a decent wage; you can start with the schoolteachers. All those new Ph.D.s with their high-paying jobs will be well able to afford it.
EDITOR: Thanks for your stories on the problems in the Laguna with ludwigia and the pepperweed. The problems with invasive weeds are so common, it's starting to feel like that recent "Bizarro" comic with the "Infestation-of-the-month-club" -- just when you've got one out the door, out pops the next pest.
Look at the hillsides of Fountaingrove in the next few weeks and you'll see sweeps of yellow flowers, the invasive French and Scotch brooms. Broom is a fire hazard which is toxic to wildlife; it crowds out native and rare plants, making an area impenetrable. Seeds travel in heavy equipment, and lack of follow-up after the initial clearing all contribute to the infestation. Soon the shrubs are 15 feet high and the soil is filled with long-lived seeds.
We can do something though: learn what the yellow legume looks like and don't let it get established. Inform your homeowners' association that it should be the priority in fuel management. Most importantly, don't buy that showy French broom at the garden center. Consumers must resist buying weedy plants and choose something well-behaved for that showy spot. Do some research, or ask your homeowner's association what is recommended for your area. Check out www.cnps.org for information about California plants. Our local native plant nurseries have great alternatives.
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