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<b>Wrong way</b>

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.

MARK WOLOCATIUK

Petaluma

<b>Computer playtime</b>

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.

JOY PULLMANN

Education research fellow, Heartland Institute

Chicago

<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

Santa Rosa

<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).

As a Sonoma County resident and as someone who has worked with Parkinson on county water issues over the past 15 years, I will personally miss his effective leadership and vision. Despite difficult circumstances, he always worked hard to provide a high level of public service in a professional manner.

An example of his vision is the inclusion of a water resources element in the county general plan linking land use and water supply planning. This pioneering effort is widely held up as an example for other counties to follow.

With Parkinson's retirement, Sonoma County has lost an experienced and creative leader. I wish him a full and productive retirement.

JAY JASPERSE

Sonoma

<b>Forestville roundabout</b>

EDITOR: Forestville is a pretty unique town. We have the only nonprofit, non-government park and ball fields in Sonoma County. We're a community that cares about where we live.

The Forestville Planning Association was created to promote a downtown center, and part of that effort includes a well-planned and well-considered roundabout that would be paired with a bypass to route the extremely heavy truck traffic around downtown. This is a great, hard-won achievement.

I am so resentful of the last-minute push by the few to derail moves that will help preserve the ambience people love about Forestville. We've come too far to let these necessary changes be overthrown.

DONNA CHERLIN

Forestville