Letters to the Editor

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Editor:
We have walked Elsie Roemer and the Alameda beach for decades.  Rails, red-winged blackbirds and marsh sparrows are noticeably missing. We, like Dawn Lemoine, (“Alameda Wildlife,” Oct. 24,) hope they can be restored, but as she points out, the spartina replacement needs to succeed first. She says one possible reason for the five-year failure of plant growth is “rising waters.” 

It is our observation, however, that the tides are no higher than than they have been over several decades. If anything, they appear lower. The Elsie Roemer path is dry. This in a year of high rainfall. Is it possible Arctic melt will mostly evaporate, increase rainfall and cause eventual global cooling? 

Reasons to vote for the Alameda Water Quality and Flood Control tax increase also include “the impacts of climate change.” If global water rise is real, the cost of dealing with it will be enormous. Poor countries will especially unable to afford the cost.

From what I have read, a group of scientists in Climate Intelligence Foundation doubt the current climate models, and feel that carbon-dioxide mitigation methods are cruel and costly to people and the planet. 

 

David & Virginia Thompson

Editor: 
In a recent press release on test scores Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) betrays why it is unable — indeed, unwilling — to solve what it insists on labeling “the achievement gap.” Why? Because the district blames the students.

For years now, educators who care about solving the underlying issue have understood that the label “achievement gap” shifts the blame and burden from the institution to students, while the term “opportunity gap” addresses the real differences between middle-class and low-income schools and the students who attend them.

That AUSD continues to use the outdated term betrays its unwillingness to take accountability for the opportunity gap, belies its slogan “Excellence and Equity for All Students,” and makes mockery of the district’s, and its obsequious community boosters’, pious claims of a progressive, 21st-century school district.

Stop calling it the “achievement gap,” and acknowledge the gap in opportunity for which AUSD is responsible.

 

David Howard

Editor:
In response to Mark Irons’ letter (“Curious about meeting,” Oct. 24), I did attend the recent community meeting about gun violence. For most of those on the stage, it certainly was a “feel-good” event. I imagine many of the speakers, particularly our elected officials, feel like they made some kind of difference with their speeches at the event. 

In reality I would characterize it as a “feel angst” event. The references to the “epidemic” or even “pandemic” of gun violence were great examples of fear mongering.

I would never argue that our current level of gun violence is acceptable, but I don’t think there is no “epidemic.” 

We seem safe in our homes and workplaces. We even seem safe on our streets (at least from guns). We are much more likely to be killed in or by a motor vehicle than by a firearm. I’m not saying the numbers are good, but there are greater dangers out there that don’t evoke the hysteria that guns do.

The part of the meeting I found most disturbing was the allusion to our children feeling afraid in their classrooms. Our children are safe in their classrooms. If they are afraid it’s because of sensationalist media and hand-wringing community meetings. 

If our children are really afraid in their classrooms it’s because the adults around them have failed. They haven’t failed to make them safe, they’ve failed to make them know they are safe. Let’s stop that madness.

 

Mike Fennelly

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