Letters for November 27, 2003

Poverty does compute

Re “Hey Dick, welcome to Sacramento” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol Punishment, November 13):

Stewart’s column makes many positive points that I would agree with, but the negatives (albeit buried) need addressing.

First of all, she makes a statement about testing second-graders to identify children who are struggling before they enter into third grade, then says that by the third grade “it’s almost too late to help many.”

Are you kidding? People continue to learn until they are dead, if they have the desire or the opportunity. If Stewart’s statement were true, there would be no older people in college, and there would be no adult education for those who were failed by the traditional schools. Children are the brightest of us. They are like little sponges.

Stewart also stated—and this is offensive, or at least should be—that “poor children are not helped much by computers, which distract teachers from core goals like literacy.” Poor does not necessarily equate to illiteracy. There are plenty of poor people out there that are very literate. It has long been accepted (which is not OK) that only rich people deserve computers. This statement (and hopefully it was not meant that way) suggests that Stewart believes that, too.

If you want to know what is wrong with the teachers and the school system, ask the parents that are frustrated with the school system. The trouble is that money spent on the school does not reach the children and the teachers who are supposed to help the children.

If you want to get things right, get rid of the administrators, who have enough money for their offices and paychecks, and put that money where it belongs.

Once you do that, there will be enough to go around, computers included!

Genesther Taylor

Moderates, beware!

Re “Recall this recall” (SN&R Bites, November 13):

With all due respect to Congressman Matsui, it seems that moderation in politics, especially for the Democrats in the 21st century, is not where it’s at. The Republican right is organized and is taking no prisoners!

Also equally important are the repeated failures of a two-party system that only recognizes special interests and corporate money and then ignores the general populace.

And since you brought up the subject of the Bush administration’s mantra—“You’re either for or against us”—it’s time to stand against the illegal Iraq war that we’ve been dragged into, which has already divided our country, turned the world against us and saddled us with a debt that will not be paid off in our lifetimes nor in those of our grandchildren.

The Green Party’s efforts that you claim to be so appalled at may also serve to put on notice our two senators, who will be coming up for re-election soon.

Bob Kampmann

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear

Re “Last days of Gail Lang” by Amy Yannello (SN&R News, November 13):

On behalf of the Lavender Library, Archives and Cultural Exchange, I am writing to congratulate SN&R and thank you most sincerely for Amy Yannello’s beautifully written portrait of our late friend, Gail Lang. She will indeed live on in people’s memories, thanks in part to Yannello’s vivid account of her final days.

Gail was a tireless recruiter for the library: our rainmaker, muse, motivator and taskmaster. She was also a hell of a lot of fun, and it breaks my heart that she had to leave the party in midlife. Her many friends can take comfort in the knowledge that she left with a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

We hope that individuals in the community who share our passion for collecting, documenting and preserving [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] history and culture will come forward to help us fill her very big platform shoes. It’s a rewarding ongoing project, and we intend to keep Gail’s dream alive for future generations, hopefully with her sense of humor.

John Mello
vice president and curator of exhibits

Lavender Library, Archives and Cultural Exchange

Is it “unwanted intrusion” …

Re “Can’t stop The Rock” by Jason Probst (SN&R News, November 13):

How many media outlets did Maureen Barrow, the altar crasher, shop around for until her “story” was picked up by SN&R?

Would she have felt compelled to jump on stage during a ballet if the urge to dance hit her? What about joining a musical group on stage if your heart is suddenly filled with song? In all my years of attending church, I have never seen anything like what she did. Basically, the only thing this article accomplished was to waste valuable space. Mrs. Barrow needs to remember the definition of uninvited—“an unwanted intrusion.”

Aaron Webster

… or just a “fundamentalist nutcase"?

Re “Can’t stop The Rock” by Jason Probst (SN&R News, November 13):

There’s nothing more to be said in regard to Maureen Barrow’s attempt at reading scripture at The Rock Church other than: “just another in a long line of fundamentalist nutcases.”

Larry DuBois