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Disrespected teachers

EDITOR: Has all respect and value been lost for the teacher? It seems to me that teachers have become pawns in the immoral game of our school systems. Catholic school teachers have now been added to the mix of educators who fear for their jobs. While they are facing the audacity of Bishop Robert Vasa and the morally daunting decision to sign or resign, the Windsor School District has announced it intends to issue 40 to 50 layoff notices.

I have personally felt the impact of losing a teacher. Recently, I arrived to class only to discover my physics teacher tragically and suddenly passed away. An unexpected loss like this forced students and staff to recognize what a priceless addition he was to our school community and how heartbreaking it was that we would never get a chance to truly express our gratitude for his illustrious dedication to his job.

What keeps the oppressed teacher passionate? Appreciation. Our teachers are faced with both ethical and economical quandaries that threaten to break down their devotion to teaching. So, let's take a chance to admire our committed teachers before it's too late.

MOLLY BARTLETT

Santa Rosa

The problem is sugar

EDITOR: If we have a dental health problem in this county, it's not because we're lacking fluoride in our water; it's due to poor eating habits.

Inspired by the fluoride debate, I decided to give myself a challenge for the month of March — I'm not eating any added sugar.

Do you think sugar is just in candy, ice cream, and other sweet treats? I wish. Added sugar is in everything. It's disguised as syrups, juice concentrates and cane juice, just to name a few.

I'm generally a very healthy eater, cooking most of what I eat from scratch and buying only organic processed foods. I thought I was safe, but even my locally made frozen burrito, salami and pickles are not immune to added sugar.

Imagine how bad it must be for low-income children who eat Fruity Pebbles for breakfast and wash it down with a Coke. Why not focus on improving their diet instead of drugging us and the environment with fluoride? How often would these kids drink tap water, anyway? The kids who drink lots of water aren't the ones who have these issues.

Let's figure out a better way to solve this problem.

BEN GARLAND

Santa Rosa

Economic balance

EDITOR: I see that corporate profits and the stock market are up, but employment is still down ("Bigger gap between workers, companies," Monday). I am sure that technological unemployment will continue to contribute to this disparity more and more. I suggest two approaches to reduce the effects of this problem: use excess corporate profits to subsidize education and encourage job sharing. We will always need corporations to produce goods and services, and we will always need consumers to consume those goods and services and to pay for them. An educated public of consumers would be better than a public living in basements and under bridges.

ROBERT E. LEIHY

Santa Rosa

Legislating love

EDITOR: The Declaration of Independence says "all men are created equal." However, many struggle to accept this concept, which has caused discrimination against people who are different from themselves. As we look back, we recognize injustices committed against people because of their race, religion or gender.

Discriminating against gay members of our society is no different.

Today, we are perpetuating our unfortunate past by denying equal rights to gay people. Not only are they alienated because of their sexual orientation, they are also denied fundamental rights, such as the right to get married. It seems ironic that over the years, some Americans have waged a social war against people who simply want the freedom to love each other.

An article in Sunday's paper noted that Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. argued that since seven states have granted full legal rights to gay couples, California should be no exception ("Public opinion could sway gay marriage ruling"). However, this is the wrong reason to legalize gay marriage. Marriage equality should be legalized because it's the right thing to do.

KEALA YANG

Santa Rosa

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