Dismissal process for teachers is too slow
No one is more concerned than teachers about protecting students, which we dedicate our working lives to, from abuse or educator misconduct.
As an East Bay teacher for 27 years and a proud member of my union, the California Teachers Association, I was dismayed to see your recent divisive editorial claiming educators and unions somehow oppose all changes in the state's dismissal process.
It takes too long to deal with allegations against teachers now, and school districts are still failing to act under current law to remove from the classroom a teacher accused of serious crimes. Last year, CTA's proposed amendments to a bill would have streamlined and expedited the dismissal process, but they were rejected by the bill's author.
The same bill is back now as SB10. CTA opposes it because it does not help protect students, speed up the dismissal process, or penalize districts failing to take action, among other concerns.
Teachers continue to work in the Legislature to make changes to SB10 that are good for our students and fair to educators.
Vacaville Jackson is a member of CTA's board of directors.
Oakland has become a savage wasteland
The combination of a ridiculously small police force coupled with a ridiculously large criminal/thug/predator population has rendered Oakland hopelessly dysfunctional.
While Oakland City Council members quibble over whose district receives adequate police presence when First Friday gatherings occur, the real issue is why our mayor and City Council have over these past decades allowed the Police Department to be decimated with a reduction in total force of more than 25 percent.
That is simply outrageous. And the logical result is precisely the circumstance these fools are squabbling about.
There are way too few police officers to handle a city of 400,000. In a civilized town, of which Oakland is decidedly not, small to medium assemblies of folks do not require large police presence. In a civilized society, people are acquainted with how to behave.
Oakland, a savage wasteland replete with every sort of cretin, cannot handle any kind of assembly absent huge police presence because the place is overrun by swine.
Art Murmur is probably history and that is tragic, yet highly predictable. This is Oakland, a town that has absolutely no comprehension of civilized life.
Jonathan C. Breault
Comics prompt passionate views
A previous comics page editor once told me that I'd be surprised how passionate people are about their favorite cartoons.
Since sharp words have been exchanged recently about "Mallard Fillmore," I figured I might as well weigh in, too. I didn't think that much about "Mallard Fillmore," other than feeling it has little in the way of artistic or creative value.
I find it interesting that the artist can't fit his bit of message into a smaller panel, a la "The Lockhorns," or that the comic perhaps be placed appropriately next to the public notices or crossword puzzle. The main reason "Fillmore" bothers me is that there's hardly any self-deprecation in its version of humor -- rather consisting of sardonic sniping toward those with whom it disagrees.
I'd be interested to know if, in one of the paper's periodic polls about comics, the results might be released so all could see which ones are really popular with the local readership? Since "Fillmore" has attracted such polarized opinion of late, I think it would be interesting information.
John J. Winters
There's no need for immigration reform
Immigration reform is a lie. It rewards the transgressors and punishes those who follow the rule of the law.
It rewards the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants with jobs that could be done by American-born or legal immigrants.
Yes, jobs like construction, landscaping, janitorial and food service worker are all jobs that unemployed Americans would take, but rather than enforcing current immigration laws and encouraging them to return home, President Barack Obama and some in Congress have promised to push legislation that would provide work authorization and legal status to illegal immigrants.
It is a disgrace to even give immigration reform a thought when you have the unemployment rate for young veterans ages 18 to 24 at 30 percent. For black veterans ages 18 to 24, the unemployment rate is a shameful 48 percent.
It is a solemn day for America when our lawmakers keep a segment of Americans living on handouts to ensure employment opportunities for illegal immigrants.