Computer coding classes
EDITOR: An article in Wednesday’s paper quoted Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that computer coding should be required in every public school (“Few question push for coding in US schools”). Yes, we should be educating interested students in computer engineering. But everyone? Many companies are reporting difficulty finding qualified applicants in the building and mechanical trades. Should we require every student to learn plumbing and auto repair?
Requiring every student to take classes in computer coding would create another barrier to success for those students whose interests and learning styles aren’t compatible with that subject, even though they can be important contributors to public life and the economy.
Computer engineering, including coding, should certainly be a part of a robust vocational education program, along with the building and mechanical trades, health care and other vitally needed job skills.
Industry should be deeply involved in making such programs relevant to current and future needs. And these programs should be integrated into another mission of the public schools, that of educating citizens.
But to offer all that, the public schools need a lot more money than they’re getting now. So let’s consider the tech industries’ needs as one component of what we should be doing.
An in-fill housing site
EDITOR: The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is to be commended for proceeding to sell the prior Community Hospital site for an in-fill development of much-needed housing in Santa Rosa.
More than 25 years ago, this community voted for urban growth boundaries to protect us from building outside of the city limits. An extension to that ordinance was ratified by voters last year. City-centered growth has been adopted by Santa Rosa with “housing first” as its top priority.
This property is an excellent example and location for this type of infill housing to be built. The neighbors need to keep in mind the community as a whole has spoken loudly on these topics. I urge the board to approve the sale of this property on Tuesday, and let the builder proceed through the city process for the future housing to be provided.
Russia and the election
EDITOR: Kathleen Miller (“Russian meddling,” Letters, July 1) suggested that Russia may have corrupted the 2016 presidential election. I believe it has been established that Russia was able to access John Podesta’s poorly secured email and discovered that the Democratic Party had rigged the primary in favor of Hillary Clinton and so informed the voting public.
Apparently Russia also had a hand in informing the voters of Clinton’s private email server and the vast amount of classified information put at risk during her time as secretary of state. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that “the voters had trouble trusting Hillary Clinton” because of what was learned during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Perhaps the goal of the Russian meddling was to have Bernie Sanders elected since his political philosophy so closely mirrors theirs.
EDITOR: I’m writing in response to the July 3 article about therapy animals (“Therapy animals proliferate, but do they help?”). Of course they help. This article bothered me as I feel not enough credit is given to the animal world.