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Graduation requirements

EDITOR: I find it interesting that three pages apart in Friday’s paper were an article stating that Santa Rosa schools want to spend $800,000 to $1 million to create a single track system to allow every high school student to qualify to directly apply to the university system (“College prep has broad support”) and an article about the UC system agreeing to guaranteed acceptance of students who successfully complete a UC-designed junior college program (“Some junior college students guaranteed admission to UC”).

If the current two-track system prepares some students for direct admission to a universities and others for admission to community colleges or technical schools, doesn’t that provide those on the bubble a better path to university admission? They may not be ready right out of high school, but two more years of study and maturity may be just their ticket.

The current system also supports students who have no desire to be college-bound seniors but who will go to technical school and fix your computers, or your cars, or become a contractor, or find one of so many other careers that don’t require a four-year college degree.

It just makes me wonder if the educators at various levels ever talk to one another.

GLENN NORUM

Santa Rosa

A doublestandard

EDITOR: I was expecting a letter castigating Israel’s response to the latest Palestinian attacks, and sure enough one appeared last Tuesday by Fran Dayan (“Cruelty in Israel”). These attacks are more than delegitimization of Israel. Their stated goal is to wipe Israel off the map and replace it with a Muslim Brotherhood-ruled state.

This letter seems to imply that if you are critical of Israel, you are a thoughtful, caring human being, and there will be some kind of magical process that will somehow stop the hostilities. This kind of talk is futile and counterproductive. Hamas is a terrorist organization. It is anti-Western, anti-Semitic, misogynist and anti-intellectual. Letters like this suggest that while Hamas threatens and attacks Israel, it is only Israel’s response that warrants close attention and scrutiny. This is a doublestandard.

Hamas has used the past 11 years to build an arsenal and assemble terrorist cells and weapons, deploying women and children along the border and encouraging breaches, aware that Israel would have no choice but to appear to be targeting innocent people. Hamas celebrates death. It calls Jews “targets to be exterminated.” Dayan and her fellow Hamas sympathizers need a reality check.

BRANDES ELITCH

Healdsburg

Young leaders

EDITOR: I have been extremely impressed in recent months with the stories of children and young people in this country who have stood up for what they believe in and made their voices heard. This was exemplified by Monday’s article about Pavel Karabelov, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Rincon Valley Charter School who won the national Drive2Live PSA contest (“Homework chore pays off for Santa Rosa teenager”).

From gun control to the #MeToo movement, more and more young people are stepping up, and I am proud of them, proud of their teachers and especially proud of their parents for raising children who aren’t afraid to get involved. These are the voices who will truly make America great again.

KAREN McMILLEN

Santa Rosa

Invitations to violence

EDITOR: Are violent home-invasions coming to your neighborhood? As long as stupid laws about marijuana exist, violence around it will continue.

The legalization of marijuana should have been structured simply to decriminalize innocuous personal behavior. Instead, politicians got greedy for large tax revenues and encouraged a new “industry.” The new industrial marijuana grow sites in our neighborhoods have become attractive soft targets for violent predators. Result: We now have violent home-invasions.

If the supervisors want to avoid more violent home invasions, they must strictly limit commercial marijuana grow sites to industrial-zoned areas. They should substantially lower the taxes on growers so that working within the system is more attractive. And they should require all commercial growers to clearly mark their locations with street signs and online listings so that innocent neighbors no longer are targets. In short, they should treat this “industry” like an industry.

Violent, murderous home-invasions aren’t relatively rare events occurring elsewhere. They are currently happening here in Sonoma County and will continue unless the supervisors act. Concerned hand-wringing, delusional gun-free zones and reliance on law enforcement (always after the fact) won’t work. The commercial grow sites hiding in our neighborhoods are invitations to violence.

FRED BAUER

Petaluma

Hearing the candidates

EDITOR: The primary election this June 5 will have several important offices on the ballot. One race that may not get as much attention as others is the race for Sonoma County clerk-recorder-assessor-registrar of voters. One of the responsibilities of the office is central to secure, accurate and timely election results, an essential requirement in keeping our democracy strong.

The League of Women Voters of Sonoma County is hosting a forum to give the three candidates running for this office an opportunity to discuss their qualifications, experience and ideas for this multi-faceted job. Please join us from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday at the Finley Center, 2060 W. College Ave. in Santa Rosa, to hear from the candidates: Ray Leonard, Rod Marusic and Deva Marie Proto. Audience questions are welcome.

Remember, democracy isn’t a spectator sport. Be an informed voter on June 5.

REBECCA JONES

President, League of Women Voters of Sonoma County

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