Successful strategy

EDITOR: Your article about teachers flipping the learning experience by having students follow a video of the lesson as homework prior to the next class, which is then devoted to reinforcing that lesson, reminded me of a calculus class I took as a UC freshman ("Teaching model 'flipped,' " Jan. 28).

Video wasn't involved; Polaroid was high-tech then. The professor simply handed out the lesson assignments for the whole semester on the first day and suggested we do each lesson at home prior to that lesson being taught in class. All of us who followed that strategy had a much better grasp of what the professor was teaching in class, plus if we had experienced any difficulties with the lesson at home, we knew what to look for or ask about in class.

The result was one of the most enjoyable, worthwhile classes I ever took and an easy "A." Nice to see a technique from the stone ages is put to good use today.


Santa Rosa

Media Center funding

EDITOR: We, the active members of the Community Media Center, have been notified that the Santa Rosa City Council will discuss the center's proposed closure today ("End likely for SR media center," Monday).

The media center is of great service. Our local talent, and great it is, has an opportunity to develop such talent in singing, playing instruments, poetry reading and more. We bring programs in English and Spanish, bringing our community closer together — much needed practice, as we well know.

Through the community calendar, we are knowledgeable about what's going on, and through some programs, we see the beauty of our city. Other projects provide tips for better health. In the summer, youngsters learn the use of technology for many purposes, including leadership and teamwork — much needed skills in the present world of work.

I firmly believe that through creativity, our health is improved, needing, thereby, fewer other services. With healthy citizens, we have fewer problems. Therefore, I encourage the city staff and the City Council to consider any suggestions that the Media Center staff may have in regards to its continuation.


Santa Rosa

A community service

EDITOR: Hats off to Jeremy Hay for his very honest and self-revealing struggle with mental illness ("Quest for mental health: Story in first person," Sunday). He has done all of us and his community a valuable service. Hopefully, we will be able to make some positive changes in the care and treatment offered to those individuals and families who are trying to get the help they need and deserve.


Santa Rosa

Tyranny of the majority

EDITOR: I agree with Mike Vandeveer ("Electoral power grab," Letters, Friday) that the Founders are rolling over in their graves but not because Republican legislators in Virginia and Ohio may change the way electoral votes are allocated. Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution gives the states the power to make that determination, so there is nothing unconstitutional about it.

Another concern Vandeveer raised is that it is anti-majority. I would like to direct readers to Federalist No. 10 by James Madison, in which he discusses the dangers of majority rule. Our Founders were not big fans of majorities, and you will find that the only place they sought to elect anyone to the federal government by majority was our representatives. Even senators were appointed by state legislatures; the 17th Amendment changed that. Our Founders did their best to avoid democracy.

Our Founders are rolling over in their graves not because of what Vandeveer says is happening, but because he believes something's wrong with it.


Santa Rosa

Right-wing mind-set

EDITOR: Please don't ever stop carrying Charles Krauthammer's column; it's worth reading for the comedic peek into the extreme right's mind-set. Take his Jan. 26 column about President Barack Obama's inaugural address ("Obama's address an anti-Reagan manifesto"). He railed against the president for, among other things, the audacity to want to "heal the planet" by supporting green energy.

Krauthammer quoted Czech President Vaclav Klaus as saying "environmentalism is the successor to failed socialism as justification for all-pervasive rule by a politburo of experts." You may want to reread that quote a couple of times to let what Krauthammer and Klaus are saying really sink in.

So, if you consider yourself an environmentalist, you must be doing so because you are a closet socialist. It couldn't be because you think that humans are part of an ecosystem that we depend upon for our very survival, it couldn't be because you value clean water, air and food, it couldn't be because you connect with nature on a personal or spiritual level, and it couldn't be because you rely on scientific analysis and facts as a framework for analyzing what is going on in our world.

Sign me up as one environmentalist who values expert opinion as critical in shaping public policy. Krauthammer's opinion? Not so much.


Santa Rosa