Saturday’s Letters to the Editor

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No more bailouts

EDITOR: Anyone who has gone to financial adviser will always hear the same mantra: Your returns will be rewarded by the amount of risk you take. This is the “capitalist” expectation in our country — or so they would have us believe. So now, the drum beat of bailouts is quickly starting, using the same old saws, “too big to fail” or “bolster the economy.” What happened to the other old saying: “You takes your chances, you pay your dues”?

It’s time to write your congressman and say no to more bailouts.



Don’t miss the census

EDITOR: Please participate in the U.S. census. You may have instructions in your mailbox now.

The census determines how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and to communities for schools, roads, emergency response and other services that help us thrive.

It takes less than 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

To participate on line, go to, which provides instructions. You may also call 844-330-2020 if you need assistance to complete the questionnaire. You may request a paper questionnaire as an option.

Thank you for your participation to help us prepare for the future.



Cursive and education

EDITOR: Cursive writing is efficient, simple and easy to read and reproduce (“Kids can’t write cursive — no big deal,” March 8). What’s more, in our experience, most children love to learn it. There are excellent simplified methods that can be taught in a few minutes a day. A few of the benefits are coordination, timing, improved perception and awareness, emotional regulation, deeper learning and comprehension.

Visual-spatial fine motor skills are most related to academic achievement in reading and math. The rhythm inherent in creating joined strokes in handwriting improve these fine motor skills. Extensive research has firmly established the relationship of handwriting to cognitive development and learning, particularly in reading, writing, and mathematics.

According to Jane Yank of Walden University, “It demonstrates the kind of timing found in coordinated activities and contributes to cognitive skills such as attention, memory, and decision processes — all vital skills in learning — that non-rhythmic activities do not.”

A free white paper at cites more than 80 scientific, peer-reviewed studies that point to the efficacy of handwriting training.

Currently, 25 states require the teaching of cursive in the lower grades. Five have legislation pending to return it to the curriculum. Ten leave it up to the school district. Only 10 states have no requirement at all.



Name the hot spots

EDITOR: Why can’t the health department let the public know in which cities people are infected with the coronavirus so people can be on alert? Don’t say people’s names, just their cities.



Consumer credit

EDITOR: Consumer credit card and student loan debt falls hardest on folks who are out of work due to COVID-19. Some might be paying interest of 25% or more in addition to paying down their loans. There might be relief coming from the government in the form of direct payments, perhaps to every adult. So how does this help, and who benefits?

If nothing else changes, consumers’ interest payments will still be due, yet the interest that banks pay to borrow money has been reduced to nearly zero. It would be the lenders who benefit rather than the consumers, and that is not helpful at all.

Rather than just sending cash to debt-burdened consumers, our government might do better with a lockdown on interest charges for the duration of this heath emergency. That way the folks who need help the most get the most help. The lenders’ earnings might be reduced, but other businesses — especially those that depend on personal contact — will be hit harder. Seems more fair to me. Perhaps the credit card lenders might agree and do it voluntarily?



Assessing health systems

EDITOR: In the Democratic debate, Joe Biden said, in reference to the coronavirus, “Italy has a single-payer system, and it is failing.” The commentators thought that Biden had a clever point against Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan. It was a clever one-liner, and Biden showed that he has as good talent for propaganda and distorting fact, as Donald Trump does.

The success of Italy’s health care system (and those of France, Germany, Spain, England and Canada) is measured over several decades by its quality, accessibility and affordability. The health care cost per-capita in Italy (and France, etc.) is about half that of the U.S., the life expectancy about four years longer and the infant mortality roughly half that of the U.S., all marks of a better system.

In all countries, containment of an epidemic or pandemic is handled by a separate agency. Its effectiveness depends upon funding by the political powers. Right-wing types of government will tend to cut the budget as Trump recently did. With the increasing number of infections, deaths, shelter-in-place orders, closing of businesses, schools, etc. one could say with as much veracity that the American for-profit health care system is failing.


Santa Rosa

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