Letters for January 25, 2001

Untraditional schooling works

Re “No Class Operation” by Howard Blume (SN&R, Jan. 18):

When my daughters were young, I wanted a good quality preschool, but couldn’t afford that choice. I looked around and discovered something called Parent Participation Preschool.

Parents are required to work one morning a week, in exchange for which my girls got a wonderful education that I otherwise couldn’t have afforded. When my oldest girl was 5, I spent the night sleeping on the ground while I waited in line to enroll her in a new public Magnet school. Again it meant extra work for me. Parents have to work at least 40 hours per school year, but again I felt my girls received a better quality education than that available at the neighborhood school. When my youngest daughter was struggling and failing at her assigned public high school, I searched everywhere for a solution. Even if I found a private or parochial school I liked, I knew I couldn’t afford it. Home-schooling sounded much too difficult, with no one to help me, and no money to purchase the truly amazing resources that are available.

Then a neighbor told me about Horizon charter school. We have an educational specialist who helps us sort through all the choices, and keeps us on track. We have money to purchase supplies, books, classes, field trips and computer access. Most of my work is done at home, so I am able to supervise my daughter and spend the hours necessary to look for good books and other resources for her education. “One size fits all” education has never fit my family. I am so very grateful to the hard working people who have struggled to create all the different schools that we have used over the years. Horizon is a true pioneer of the new computer age.

Pam Silva

The forgotten bikers

Re “Stop Blocking the Bike Trail” by Mark Yashinsky (SN&R Guest Comment, Jan. 11):

Thanks for printing Mark Yashinky’s commentary about the miserable under-construction status the trail has been in over the last year.

People might not be aware of how unsafe it is unless they try to use it to commute downtown regularly as I do. I would like to add that nearly every single convenient entry point along the trail has been blocked during construction. Now I can’t access the trail anywhere near Watt Avenue without riding up the dangerous American River Drive onramp to Watt Avenue where drivers speed by while gawking at the bridge under construction. All exits near Cal Expo are closed.

I too find it discouraging that bicycle safety is not in vogue right now with our politicians and officials, but then again it doesn’t surprise me. How often would any of them care to get out of their cars?

Wayne Kunert
via e-mail

The White House: where the sun won’t shine

Re “A Time to be Heard” (SN&R Editorial, Jan. 11):

“George W. Bush lost the popular election by more than 500,000 votes.” That’s a lie! If all votes from illegal [citizens] just in California would be thrown out, Bush would be ahead by a million votes.

“Attorney general nominee Richard Ashcroft is fanatically pro-gun and anti-abortion.” So what! Ever heard of the U.S. Constitution or the Second Amendment? As far as opposing a woman’s right to kill, right on! “Norton … lobbying to open Alaska’s wilderness to oil drilling.” What is wrong with that?

Thank goodness. Finally, a president who tells the extreme left to go and shove it where the sun don’t shine. I say, get over it! We’re now in the White House and our guy is making sure that the country isn’t run by left wing “felons” who end up either in prison or dead.

Walter F. Mueller

A lesson for the mall rats

Re “Red Flags in Florida” by Jackson Griffith (SN&R In the Mix, Jan. 4):

In reality, the only 224-year experiment in representative democracy, otherwise known as a republic (for all you tattooed, educationally deprived Sac mall-rats) was barely and valiantly saved from being heisted by a gang of low-life criminals.

In reality, Mein Kampf was the product of a man who was a Socialist (Nazi = National Socialist Workers’ Party), anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, anti-individualist, anti-everything-the-Republican-Party-stands-for.

In reality, “Red Flags In Florida” conjures up the image of communist flags, which would serve to indict your buddies, not the Republicans. Surely, you could have been more artful than that.

In reality, Pinochet is the reason why Chile is the most prosperous country in all of South America today. You should have used Castro to make your point if you really wanted to slander someone.

In reality, it is the unsophisticated conspiracy theories and pop cultural propaganda that you’re peddling which helps keep the people ignorant. Have you ever been anywhere else besides California? Try the real world.

Mark Lawrence
via e-mail