Adult prosecution isn't right answer for teen

The decision to try a 16-year-old student as an adult in the skirt-burning tragedy compounds the suffering. Such a move appeals to those who choose to believe that such behavior is abhorrent rather than a reflection of a culture of misogyny and homophobia.

Confining the perpetrator in prison will not address the ugly and prevailing gender discrimination. The courts should seek guidance from the Oakland Unified School District and their restorative justice approach to discipline.

The circumstances of the incident must be considered to prevent more tragedies. The long, articulating buses on which this tragedy occurred include a rear area that the driver can hardly see, much less supervise.

Transporting high school students on such buses is a recipe for disaster. This problem is compounded by the absence of police patrol on the AC Transit buses. Although the bus passengers pay taxes just like car drivers, they do not receive police services when they travel.

Two steps must be taken: AC Transit must discard the articulating buses in favor of shorter, two-axle busses, and the cities AC Transit serves must provide police patrol on the buses.

Gregory Kalkanis

Oakland

Turkey-free holiday is better way to go

As I read the Nov. 12 My Word, "People who learn truth about turkey change their habits," I was reminded of the quote, "Live simply so that others may simply live."

Thanksgiving is meant to be a holiday for reflection -- a day during which we celebrate what we're grateful for. Sadly, it's become synonymous with a turkey at the center of every family's meal.

Having spent time around turkeys at a sanctuary visit, I was impressed by their remarkable beauty and curious nature. I am excited to enjoy my Thanksgiving meal this year feasting with my family and friends on delicious meat-free foods like mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and more.

I hope as we all learn more about the cruelties of factory farming and the inevitable animal suffering that happens as a result, more people will join me in celebrating a turkey-free Thanksgiving.

Milena Esherick

Oakland

Some decisions are difficult to explain

I am an old (86 years) Hayward High School graduate. I read the story, "Mural commemorates old Hayward High."

There was a line in that story that stood out big-time: "God that was a beautiful building. Why did they tear it down?" Good question. I would like to know the answer myself.

They said it wasn't earthquake-proof. Isn't that strange, because the building they put up to replace it was also destroyed for the same reason.

I wonder if these people making the decisions are smoking something? Something is wrong because it makes no sense to me.

Dorothy Allen

San Leandro

Give thanks without turkeys this year

Thanks for the Nov. 12 My Word piece that encouraged readers to consider enjoying a vegetarian Thanksgiving.

It's astonishing that more than 45 million turkeys are killed every year for Thanksgiving alone (especially considering how much turkey gets thrown away in subsequent days). Most Americans think of them as nothing more than the centerpiece for a holiday meal, yet they don't consider the cruelty that leads up to it.

The turkeys that most of us eat for Thanksgiving are a Frankenstein version of wild turkeys -- they've been genetically modified for large breasts that grow so big they develop crippling leg deformities and can't even mate naturally. That's not my idea of a celebratory meal.

There are so many delicious foods we can eat that don't cause suffering. My family has started a new tradition with a vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Jaci Kassmeier

Oakland