Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - October 15, 2010


System at fault

Dear Editor,

As a junior at Foothill, I can safely say that I and many of my classmates have an excessive amount of homework. Many of us have long since forgotten how to be children. However, implying that the fault of this problem lies with the teachers is wrong.

Teachers are under serious pressure by the administration to produce results -- tangible, numerical indicators of our "success." The district cares more about API numbers, WASC accreditation, and fill-in-the-bubble state tests than the true and complete edification of our minds. The system disregards the kind of education that the forefathers of our country envisioned for its youth, Jefferson's "crusade against ignorance." I cannot imagine that his intention was to force us to regurgitate facts but to be free-thinking, capable and worldly citizens. The teachers that perpetuate robotic education are not necessarily to blame; they're just trying to do their jobs. I would not want them to be forced to revise their curriculums to fit any more "standards" then they already do.

While I know that I don't have to go to a UC, get a perfect SAT score, and achieve over a 4.0 GPA, many students don't. Please know that our children are suffering under these modern values, this oppressive force that tells us that we need to be academically flawless. Remind them that in this life, there are other paths to success. Know that it is not electronics, classes or teachers that are at fault, it is the system at its core.

Athena Lathos, Foothill High School, class of '12

McGovern for mayor

Dear Editor,

Cindy McGovern is an excellent choice for mayor of Pleasanton. I have known Cindy for close to 30 years, and I know she has the heart of a public servant. I have worked with and/or observed her in numerous roles in PTA, School Site Council, Board of Education, and City Council. I've found 1) She has no hidden personal agenda; 2) She researches issues thoroughly; and 3) She asks the hard questions. She works well with people in respectful ways, and makes decisions based on what's right for the most people involved in situations affected by her vote. I heartily recommend a Yes vote for Cindy McGovern as mayor of our wonderful town.

Carol Boster

Brown for Council

Dear Editor,

Pleasanton is a better city today and in the future thanks to the efforts of citizen Karla Brown. Karla is an energetic and fearless worker that has been actively involved in making Pleasanton a better and safer place to live. Her successful efforts helped stop PG&E from placing high power lines directly under residential neighborhoods using untested technology. Also, she was a leader in the successful hillside protection initiative (Measure PP) that was passed by a significant majority of voters. Pleasanton is one of the last cities in the East Bay to develop such protection for the remaining undeveloped ridge tops. If not for Karla's efforts, I don't think that the underfunded grassroots effort to allow the voters to enact Measure PP would have succeeded in defeating the well funded efforts by special interest groups to prevent voters from being heard. In addition, Karla is a strong businesswoman and will focus her energy and balanced judgment on reinvigorating our downtown area and keeping the city financially sound.

Vote Karla Brown for City Council!

Lou Astbury

Sierra Club for Brown

Dear Editor,

The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Karla Brown for the Pleasanton City Council. Karla Brown listens to the residents of the Pleasanton community, understands critical issues in depth, and then takes action. She strongly supports resident participation in the public process and has been a key leader in the effort to save the southeast hills from destruction.

After the City Council failed to develop a long overdue ridgeline preservation ordinance that was promised back in 1996, Karla Brown not only co-authored a ridgeline preservation initiative but collected petition signatures and qualified it for the ballot. Pleasanton voters overwhelmingly adopted this ridgeline preservation initiative in 2008.

Karla Brown has excellent credentials to protect the environment. The Sierra Club strongly recommends a vote for Karla Brown in November.

Richard Pugh, Sierra Club, Tri-Valley Group Executive Committee

'She really listens'

Dear Editor,

Joan Laursen really cares about our schools and has put in loving time over many years to strengthen our district. I truly appreciate all the time and effort she gave for implementing the CORE program in conjunction with PPIE. Joan made sure everyone knew exactly where our money would be going and how much we needed to reach each goal. She even worked long hours at Kindergarten Roundup speaking with many new parents who were interested in hearing about the CORE program. Because of CORE, our school libraries remained open and we kept our technology specialists.

Joan currently has a child in our school system and one that graduated from PUSD, and she has been closely involved all the way through. Joan understands all of the levels from elementary to high school. Her knowledge of school finance and education issues, combined with her financial background will really help us do the best we can for our children's education.

Joan is a delight to work with and she is always available for questions or comments. She really listens and her personable nature makes her easy to communicate with.

I am voting for Joan Laursen and I hope you will too.

Michelle Flanagin

Let's all vote

Dear Editor,

Last Weekly's editorial on the endorsement of the City Council incumbents was an example of excellent journalism, lacking only one point, in that of mentioning a third candidate, Mr. Fred Watson.

There are a couple of comments that should have been mentioned about Karla Brown that have disturbed many of us older residents. One: She broke our City Council protocol by announcing her candidacy at the City Council Meeting under matters not on the agenda. The mayor should have stopped her to state that was not proper unless equal time was given to the other candidates. Two: When someone runs for City Council and they have just sponsored a recall that will cost the city of Pleasanton possibly a million dollars on the Oak Grove Project, we need to check their real interest in our community.

As in the past when a City Council member runs for mayor from a "safe seat" and wins, then the city has to have a special election according to our current law, so again we need to check out their real interest for our community financially.

Personally, I agree to the re-election of Cook-Kalio, Hosterman and Thorne. In two years Brown, Mc Govern and Watson can have another opportunity along with other dedicated citizens. Let's hope that Pleasanton has over 75% of registered voters cast ballots. Go P-town.

Howard Neely

Vote for Laursen

Dear Editor,

As a former school teacher in the Pleasanton Unified School District, I'm endorsing Joan Laursen for the Pleasanton School Board. I've known Joan for many years and know she has the intelligence, the experience and the integrity for the job. Through CORE, she helped raise money for our school district at a critical time and she'll continue to support our district as a member of the school board. Please join me in voting for Joan Laursen for School Board in the November election.

Marilyn Foreman

Trusted voice

Dear Editor,

A vote to re-elect City Councilman Jerry Thorne is insurance that our quality of life here will continue. As difficult issues continue to arise, we need someone who will thoughtfully listen and fully consider the issues at hand, without a rush to judgment or unhelpful rhetoric. Jerry Thorne has tirelessly been that civil servant for the City of Pleasanton and his fellow residents. From his days on the Parks and Recreation Commission to his years on the city council, Jerry has ensured Pleasanton stayed on track with growth that doesn't outpace services, with parks and facilities that benefit everyone from kids to seniors, with continued concern over traffic congestion and senior housing, with dedication to both the workforce and the chamber of commerce, with a commitment to fight to retain the city's fair share of federal funding while also stopping the state's borrowing of local funds.

Please help keep Pleasanton's most trusted voice, Jerry Thorne, working for all of us. Your vote will continue his commitment to our city for everyone's benefit.

Jack Balch

Vote for McNerney

Dear Editor,

There are important reasons beyond being a Democrat or Republican that should go into the individual choices we make for our national elective representation. There are several that sway me to vote for Jerry McNerney for Congress.

Long arguments pro and con can be made regarding our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the bulk of the cost of these wars has been borne by our service personnel and their families. Toward alleviating this, Congressman McNerney has written laws which will improve care for traumatic brain injuries, the signature wound from these conflicts. He has also gone to great lengths to keep and expand the VA facilities in this district.

Similarly, one can argue whether to now increase drilling for domestic oil supplies or to wait for an improved economy before going green. I agree with McNerney that we need to immediately expand our green energy economy. Through his leadership he has authorized a bill to expand green job training programs. We really need his two decades of renewable energy experience in our next Congress.

I met Congressman McNerney in a small meeting where he spent individual time with all who attended, addressing any questions and concerns we had.

Ron Rigge

Tireless advocate

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my support of Joan Laursen for Pleasanton School Board. The fact that Joan is running during these difficult economic times is a testament to her dedication and passion for public education. She has been a tireless advocate for students in Pleasanton for over 15 years both at the state and local level. Joan is the kind of person who thinks independently and backs up her beliefs with action. She is not afraid to tackle tough issues, even when that comes at personal cost.

Joan's longtime service to Pleasanton ensures that she has a deep understanding of district policies, as well as the needs of our students and community. In Pleasanton we expect excellent schools. There is no one who understands this better than Joan Laursen. As a School Board member we can expect her to serve with the highest level of professionalism, commitment and a spirit of community. I urge you to join me in voting for Joan Laursen for School Board in the November election.

Eileen Armstrong

McNerney must go

Dear Editor,

Fellow citizens of the 11th Congressional District, we must vote for David Harmer and get Jerry McNerney out of office. McNerney doesn't seem to understand he's in Washington to represent and serve us. Instead, he seems to think he's there to serve Obama and Pelosi and implement their agenda regardless of what his constituents think.

Our country cannot afford more of the Obama/Pelosi agenda, and that's what we'll get if NcNerney is re-elected. He voted for the $800 billion "stimulus" bill that accomplished nothing. He voted for the $800-plus billion Cap & Trade tax. Perhaps worst of all, he voted for Obamacare, the government takeover of healthcare, which we have learned will cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars and is already causing our premiums to rise despite all the promises to the contrary.

McNerney needs to go. The Obama/Pelosi agenda is not working, and we cannot afford it. Vote for David Harmer.

Dom Ochoa

Christine Peterson


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