Fair decision about safe drug ordinance

Congratulations to Alameda County for the recent court ruling upholding the county's Safe Drug Disposal ordinance.

This ordinance requires drug manufacturers to develop and support safe disposal programs for unused medications. It is a fair requirement given that supporting such programs is a minuscule cost compared to the profits these companies make.

Hopefully, instead of further legal appeals, the pharmaceutical industry will remember that its focus is on health and will work with the county to keep left over drugs off our streets and out of our water.

Andria Ventura

Program manager Clean Water Action Oakland

The job of a teacher has many aspects

I'd like to thank a recent letter writer for his appreciation of teachers.

Many people are not truly aware of what it takes to become an effective teacher.

An ideal/model teacher must be patient, unconditional, understanding, nurturing, have strong classroom management skills, have a solid understanding of each subject, differentiate teaching styles for all levels within the grade, be creative with teaching a lesson, make it stimulating for all the students, give them incentive, give encouragements, problem solve their differences, build social skills, teach acceptance of differences, praise them for their accomplishments, support their weaknesses, grade papers (nights and weekends), and plan weekly lessons.

There's also parent-teacher conferences, report cards, grade level meetings, staff development meetings, extracurricular activities, adjunct duties, and if the school district you teach possesses a large percentage of dysfunctional families, strong parenting skills to help the students. The list goes on.

And we get paid less than BART employees. Go figure that one out.

I could have retired at 55 with my initial career, but decided to become a teacher. The irony is, I truly, honestly, still love what I do. And I promise to continue to be a dedicated teacher to all my students until I retire at 65-plus.

Greg Takahashi

Walnut Creek

Best idea is to invite them back, share

An Aug. 30 letter writer dismisses Uri Davis's two books on Israel's apartheid system, reporting: "Uri Davis is not an Israeli and not an Israeli professor; he is a Muslim Palestinian married to a Palestinian wife ... and his Ph.D. in anthropology is not from Israel but from The New School for Social Research, New York City."

I've spoken with Uri Davis and read both books. Born in Jerusalem in 1943, he resides now near Ramallah. He dislikes racist Israeli categories and mockingly calls himself "a Palestinian Hebrew national of Jewish origin, anti-Zionist, registered as Muslim and a citizen of an apartheid state -- the state of Israel."

While serving in a kibbutz as conscientious objector in the 1960s, a Zionist showed him overgrown stones saying, "This is the [Arab] village of Dirma. Its residents are refugees while we cultivate their land. Now do you understand why they hate us and want to drive us into the sea?"

Davis answered: "But there is an alternative. We could invite them back and share [the land] with them."

Jon Peterson

Albany

Rather tangle with cyclist than auto

In response to a Sept. 3 letter, yes, persons on bicycles are required to follow all traffic laws. Yes, there are some real idiots operating bicycles.

What about motorists? A full 50 percent of our trips in sunny California are four miles or less. Yet more than 90 percent of young, healthy adults insist on operating America's most dangerous lethal weapon as their primary form of transportation.

The results: Traffic jams, parking problems, air pollution, worn-out infrastructure, tens of thousands of deaths, poor health and obesity (through inactivity) and global environmental disasters (through our incessant demand for cheap gas). And that's just for starters.

I do 99 percent of all of my travel on a bicycle (with kids and cargo) and do obey traffic laws whenever possible.

The letter concludes by implying cyclists are somehow stupid. Look at what smogmobilists do to us every day, and those are the good ones. How stupid are they? Or is it they just don't give a damn?

I'd rather face a stupid cyclist any day than a smart motorist. Far less deadly and destructive.

Stacy Spink

Castro Valley