Monday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 3:41 p.m.
Food labeling costs
EDITOR: It is important for your readers to know that there will be no increase in food costs due to GMO labeling. In Europe, no changes were experienced when labeling was introduced in 1997.
I refer readers to an article from the Organic Consumers Association newsletter — www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27317.cfm — that describes the affidavit system proposed in Washington state's upcoming legislation, Initiative 522. An affidavit is a sworn statement supplied by the food seller to the retailer that the food is non-GMO. No food testing or government oversight is needed.
Invitation to trouble
EDITOR: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano was once a teacher. This is interesting since he is sponsoring AB 1266, which would require that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletics and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records.
Anyone who has taught can predict the outcome of such a bill. Some adolescents would find such a law a great way to venture into places they normally cannot go, e.g. locker rooms and bathrooms.
Is there not a better way to deal with issues that transgender students have? How much more difficult do we want to make a teacher's work? This is always the problem with laws that are meant to solve all issues with one stroke of the pen. Can Sacramento really solve all challenges?
Pump up the volume
EDITOR: I want to thank the Sonoma County Fair for the monster truck rally this month. Living in a neighborhood within a half-mile of the fairgrounds, the noises belching from the gargantuan engines was a welcome respite from the rigors of the work week. We look forward to the many other egregious events that add a certain je ne sais quoi to what otherwise would be really boring evenings. For more entertainment ideas, might I suggest looking to the Roman Coliseum, oh say, circa Year One.
EDITOR: I read the pro and con arguments on a public power agency in the May 12 Forum section. Actually, I read the “con” article first and then started the “pro” article. I only got to the fourth paragraph, where I read, “PG&E is a regulated monopoly that must return a profit to its shareholders. There is nothing inherently wrong with that.” Really? That explains why residential PG&E ratepayers must foot the bills for all the company's blunders, such as the disaster in San Bruno and the mothballing of nuclear plants built on fault lines, to name only two. I bet that the writers, assuming they believe what they wrote, are heavily invested in PG&E stock.
I wasn't too convinced by the con article, but if I have the opportunity to vote on this project, which I hope we all will have, that pro article will likely sway me to vote no.
EDITOR: I read with shock and dismay that Windsor Unified School District is laying off 39 faculty members. I had been lulled into thinking that Proposition 30 would be at least a temporary patch on the budget shortfalls of Sonoma County school districts.
Voters were wooed into thinking that additional revenue would set things straight. However, a $2 million deficit doesn't appear out of nowhere, and I cannot help but wonder what Windsor Unified thinking was when it hired these 39 teachers? Surely it must have been apparent that the funds to support them long-term were not in the budget?
How far back in time do we need to look at the books to see at what point Windsor Unified's thinking went awry? Did the current superintendent, Tammy Gabel, inherit this tragedy from Steve Herrington, now superintendent of schools for Sonoma County?
The public deserves an explanation of why the solution to balancing this budget consists of increasing class sizes and laying off teachers. I have seen no mention of administrators sharing the pain, although surely we must look to them to explain how they allowed such a large deficit to accumulate and how they can justify betraying the voters' trust.