Oakland girl's death was important too
A little girl was shot to death in Oakland on July 17 near my neighborhood.
She was doing nothing more than enjoying a sleepover at her best friend's house when someone shot through the front door and killer her.
Does this mean the people of Oakland will now riot for three more days and destroy as many downtown businesses as possible, or does this one not count?
Somehow, it seems really quiet around town. Someone explain the difference between this and Trayvon Martin.
Headline unfairly taints guns owners
A recent Tammerlin Drummond column ran with the headline, "Florida's gun law is biggest outrage."
Nowhere in her column did a gun law get mentioned. She opined on many relevant concerns about profiling, racism, vigilantism and so forth, but the only law mentioned was the "stand your ground" law, which is not about guns, rather about a right of someone to use deadly force (knives, guns, fists, etc.) when defending themselves when they are in places they are entitled to be.
It does not, as argued in the column, allow a person to "stalk a teenage boy who he thinks is 'up to no good,'" nor does it discuss guns.
This letter is not defending George Zimmerman.
It is a request that the editorial staff refrain from tainting gun owners and gun rights by making such ridiculous assertions as the headline suggested.
The outcome quite possibly would have been the same if he used a knife, broken bottle or fists.
The columnist's request to "strip away the hyperbole" should apply to the headlines as well.
Must look more closely at issues
The author of the letter the recent letter, "Progress happens only with respect," should pay some respect to the truth.
The truth of the matter is that the Arabs and the Palestinians acknowledged Israel's "right" to exist when they unanimously accepted the Arab peace initiative proposed in 2002. This would have ended the Arab-Israeli conflict and normalized relations between the entire Arab region and Israel, in exchange for a complete withdrawal from the occupied territories. The Israeli government quickly rejected the initiative.
When one begins to pay close attention to the Palestine-Israeli issue, it becomes clear that the letter writer was simply reiterating the same sound bites and propaganda used to deceive us about a major crime taking place in our world, in all of our holy land.
It is not a complicated issue. One only needs to visit the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem, now surrounded by a 26-foot concrete apartheid wall, to see the tragedy that the state of Israel is inflicting upon the indigenous population simply for being born Christian or Muslim. The irony.
Students must get the basic skills
I think Oakland's summer bridge program for children is such a good idea.
As a volunteer in a kindergarten classroom, there are so many basic skills I feel are necessary for students to know -- sharing, communicating, patience and many other basic skills -- to get through the first few years of school because this is a part of their foundation for life.
In the past, I have worked with students who do not understand these basic concepts and it not only makes it more difficult for the teacher, but for the student as well because they tend to feel behind.
Imagine what could happen if the program was implemented in all 58 counties in California, then expanded to other states?
With such small student-to-teacher ratios and an abundance of volunteers, such as district teachers or college students studying education, this would help make sure that all children going into kindergarten are completely prepared and ready to face their first day of school.