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Memo controversy

EDITOR: The Washington Post article in Friday’s paper about YouTube CEO’s personal perspective regarding women succeeding in tech and leadership sheds light on unfounded biases and incorrect assumptions about gender (“A CEO, mom responds”).

However, I have a different perspective. I’m the first Sonoma County woman to pass pole-climbing school (in the 1970’s), becoming a Pac Bell lineman (a job I did for over two years). I had ranked in the 99 percentile in space-relations and mechanical reasoning in an SRJC aptitude test. I was a good line worker. I’m currently the executive coordinator of Artful Arrangements, a local nonprofit.

The “memo controversy” is not about gender (or race) and is not specific to any particular industry. It is about group dynamics. I believe that, if all the men at Google were women, and the few women were men, the same dynamics would play out – the person who is obviously “different” would be singled out by the “mostly-the-same” group, unconsciously (or on purpose).

Women are just as good practicing this group dynamic as men. What ultimately determines a person’s advancement or success is the ability to judge people on attitude, ability and decision-making skill over simplistic physical appearance.

DIANE H. DAVIS

Penngrove

Focus on Guam

EDITOR: With the world’s attention now focused on Guam, I hope everyone recognizes that this small piece of America is filled with loving, patriotic people who have endured the hardship of war firsthand in WWII .

They are not afraid. You cannot appreciate freedom until you’ve lost it as they did during three years of Japanese occupation.

The bluster of politicians will fade into history but the strength and determination of these people will forever be remembered as a foundation of freedom.

God give our president wisdom and protect the island and it’s people.

GREG CHAMPION

Sebastopol

What about food prices?

EDITOR: Jay Ambrose’s column about changing immigration law to a merit system makes some good arguments (“President Trump’s immigration plan a step forward,” Thursday), but it omits an important benefit we gain from the influx of unskilled foreign workers.

One feature of the illegal immigrant phenomenon in the United States seems never to be mentioned in all the arguments. These people make our food much cheaper than it would be without them. And everybody eats.

If we thought of the extra money we would spend on food without campesinos, as a tax, it would inspire outrage. And it would have a specially severe impact on people with low incomes.

STEPHEN HAWKES

Healdsburg

Protect your eyes

EDITOR: Most of us are aware of the total solar eclipse that is to happen in the United States on Aug. 21.

While the prospect of seeing this phenomena is exciting, it cannot be emphasized strongly enough that special precautions need to be undertaken to protect your eyes when viewing anything except a total eclipse.

When a portion of the sun is blocked, its brightness may not be enough to elicit our reflex to stop looking at it. Because of this, people tend to stare at the partial eclipse too long. This can cause irreversible injury to the retina that may not be immediately evident. Also, this danger is greater for young people than older people, as younger people have bigger pupils and clearer lenses. Children who watch the eclipse need to be supervised.

To view the eclipse safely, special purpose solar safety filter glasses are needed for every aspect of it except the time the moon completely blocks the sun.

NASA and the American Astronomical Society offer links online to reputable companies that market quality solar filters.

It is not advisable to view the partial eclipse without the proper filters, but those that do would be wise to only view the eclipse for seconds at a time to avoid permanent eye damage, or to create a pinhole with paper to view the shadow of the event on the ground.

Our vision is precious but somewhat fragile.

Please be careful about protection your eyes and the eyes of your loved ones.

We have a limited supply of free solar eclipse glasses at our office located at 6880 Palm Ave. Please stop in and pick a pair up.

DR. ERIC J. KAHLE

Ophthalmologist, Eye Associates of Sebastopol Medical Group

Animals playing?

EDITOR: The headline of your Monday article about the Sonoma County Fair, “Where animals come to play” was so ingenuous. Animals are auctioned off to be slaughtered. They are whipped to run in circles.

They are frightened, chased, roped and otherwise abused. Those animals aren’t having any fun.

ZETA STERLING

Santa Rosa