Letters to the Editor

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Editor:
I love fruit smoothies. I love strawberries and kiwi, “very berry” blends, Jamba Juice’s delicious green formulations and their new, summery, watermelon smoothies. But all of them might be gone with the disappearance of our bee populations.

We depend on honeybees to produce so many crops, from the sweetest of fruits to the alfalfa our cows eat. Yet 30 percent of our bee colonies are killed off each season by pesticides, particularly a type called neonicotinoids. 

Pesticide manufacturing companies turn a blind eye, for these neonicotinoids rake in billions of dollars. The state of Minnesota, the providence of Ontario, Canada, and the European Union have already taken steps towards banning neonicotinoids, against the pesticide manufacturers’ will.

Why haven’t we?
Not only do I want to keep enjoying the fruits of the world, I want to share them with the next generation, too. Please, speak out and support a ban on neonicotinoids. Save the bees.

 

Christina Tangsombatvisit

Editor:
A healthy dose of distrust of any politician’s vote relative to significant campaign donors is neither right-wing, left-wing, racist, misogynist nor sexist. It is common knowledge that some people will donate money or time to candidates who, if elected, will have the power to decide or influence decisions on matters that benefit donors financially. 

It’s certainly easier for me to believe there are good reasons why a councilmember may support a certain city contract or deal, for example, if there isn’t the suspicion of partiality to a major campaign donor.

And why wouldn’t any elected official go to great lengths to avoid even a hint of corruption? I don’t think it is asking too much of our local candidates to refuse donations from entities that do business with the city. The argument that it’s expensive to run a campaign isn’t nearly as relevant if each candidate is operating with the same restriction on fundraising.

On Nov. 6 I expect to vote for candidates without contributions from unions and developers because I know they will be voting on payment and benefit contracts and land or development deals during their time in office. In the event candidates have already accepted and spent such donations then promises to recuse themselves from any votes relative to those donors just might be sufficient to warrant my consideration.

 

Mary Jacak

 

Editor:
I received notice from the school district announcing its plans to rename Henry Haight Elementary School, due to the racist legacy associated with its eponymous former California governor.

I was greatly disheartened to read the final paragraph of the letter that stated if the school is renamed, “the committee feels strongly that it does not want to erase the history and legacy of ‘Haight Elementary School.’ Instead, the committee plans to solicit and display memories and photos of the school, as well as put up plaques with a history of the school, including why it was renamed. When that process begins, committee members will reach out the community for suggestions and materials.”

This sentiment of preserving the “history and legacy” of the name Henry Haight sounds exactly like Southerners who grasp onto Confederate battle flags and statues of Confederate generals, who fought to preserve slavery, in the name of Southern “heritage.”

Is the entire school renaming committee bereft of any common sense? If the name is unfit for the school, it is unfit for the preservation of its “history and legacy.” There should be no, “plans to solicit and display memories and photos of the school, as well as put up plaques with a history of the school.”

Change the name of the school. Install a single plaque that documents Henry Huntly Haight’s racism, and explains how wrong it was to name the school for him in the first place.

 

David Howard

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