EDITOR: Why would someone who is illegally in a country want to alert authorities, in any way, to their illegal presence ("Legislature OKs licenses for illegal immigrants," Friday)?
If our immigration system does not allow someone who was brought into to the U.S. illegally at a young age a way to become a legal resident and eventually a citizen, that is the system that needs to be fixed. If the foundation of your house is damaged, putting up siding or a coat of paint over it will not fix it.
This is ridiculous, wasteful, expensive legislation, and our state legislators have lost it.
EDITOR: Let me get this straight. Petaluma schools are going to spend valuable instruction time teaching children to drag and drop, add hyperlinks to words and switch between two computer windows in order to prepare them for the state's new computerized tests ("Schools preparing for new standards," Sept. 5)? Does anyone really believe that is a valuable educational use of children's time, especially in elementary grades?
No wonder the research on adding computers to schools has found the same things that research on adding whiteboards and tablets and projectors has found: It doesn't benefit kids one bit, on average. People invariably use technology not to strengthen instruction but as a distraction from the instruction that kids deserve.
How about assigning children to read the "Little House on the Prairie" or "Charlotte's Web" and then testing them on their knowledge of those literary works? Or how about, you know, having them spend class time actually learning things rather than playing around with computer mice? Apparently, that's too much to ask. I'm sure parents and taxpayers are thrilled.
Education research fellow, Heartland Institute
<b>Talk to SAY</b>
EDITOR: My family and I have lived in Bennett Valley since 1979. We have watched the area grow into a vital, alive community. I see it staying that way when Social Advocates for Youth occupies the former Warrack hospital site. I have been aware of SAY and the great services it provides for young adults since it began.
When the first inflammatory flier arrived on our door step — "Residents against SAY's move to Warrack Hospital" — I was dismayed at the level of fear and misinformation it conveyed. I called SAY and was put in touch with someone on staff who offered to come out and talk about SAY's plans. It's a well-thought-out plan. At that time, I found out SAY already housed a number of young men at a facility on Yulupa Avenue. How many Bennett Valley residents knew of its existence?
I saw the full-page ad in the paper. That ad does not speak for many of us who are in favor of the relocation of SAY to Warrack.
I encourage residents to attend meetings, scheduled by SAY, and listen to the facts. Invite staff from SAY to speak to you individually and find out more. Please support SAY's relocation to Warrack .
JULIE RISTICH MALM
<b>A job well done</b>
EDITOR: Thank you for your article on the retirement of Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department Director Pete Parkinson ("Planner ends often-tumultuous tenure," Saturday).
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here