If not now, when?
EDITOR: This country has ceased to be "for the people and by the people." It is now controlled by cowardly, spineless, politically motivated representatives who have no moral compass but that which serves their agendas.
The vote in the U.S. Senate against considering gun control leaves one to speculate whatever happened to pride in our country. I wonder, as a senior citizen, if I am alone in this overwhelming disgust and disappointment in a governing body that refuses to protect its citizens.
Obviously, the strength of the National Rifle Association elicits a greater morality than the lives of our children and the American public.
Our Founding Fathers meant in the Second Amendment to protect their homes and families. How anguished those good men would be to see their intentions twisted into today's NRA format, as evidenced into the Senate's political self-serving vote.
Where is their conscience?
This is not about sporting or recreational guns; this is about the use of weapons that sacrifice innocents all across our land. How long and what further massacres must take place before we say enough?
If not now, then when will we be stronger and braver and take back the safety of our people?
Teaching and testing
EDITOR: There's an old Chinese proverb: "I hear, and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." The words ought to be posted in big letters in every elementary school class room. Judging from Michael Haran's recent op-ed ("Education needs to be retooled as well," Close to Home, Saturday), it seems that some educators are at long last realizing this dynamic.
The old saying underscores the need to address education from the viewpoint of learning, not teaching. Teaching serves learning, and learning happens sometimes with, sometimes in spite of, sometimes in the absence of teaching, but seldom in the absence of doing, especially with young children. Anyone who has been involved in 4-H intuitively recognizes this. Anyone who pays attention to how their own children learn knows it, too.
As for the hot issue of standardized testing, we can say that this judges parents rather than teachers. Anyone with an ounce of sense and attention knows that the single most important factor in students' learning is parental involvement. Dull uninterested parents make for dull, uninterested children. It's not fair to blame teachers for children's home life.
Enforcing the rules
EDITOR: After reading April 14 article concerning the public use of illegal bike trails in Annadel State Park ("Battling the &‘outlaw' trails of Annadel"), I feel that the injured bike rider, Tony Lamperti, who was on an illegal trail that was marked as such, should be fined for violating park rules as well as held responsible, where legally possible, to reimburse all costs incurred in his rescue by Sonoma and Napa counties and the city of Santa Rosa.
EDITOR: So Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt chants his slogan, "It's rates, rates, rates" ("Power brokers," Sunday). That is his analysis of the complex choices we are faced with as a community with regard to energy source and consumption?
Do we not deserve people with more thoughtful ideas and careful analysis from our elected and well-paid representatives? Chanting "it's rates, rates, rates" is simply infantile and reminiscent of those who chant such slogans as, "Drill baby drill."