Home runs, or homework?
EDITOR: There are approximately 98,817 public high schools in the country. Contained therein are approximately 15.1 million souls, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
In professional sports, there are 146 teams in the “big 5” – MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLS. In sum, there are approximately 14,500 jobs available which pay anywhere from $300,000 to $20 million per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This leaves a discrepancy of 15,085,500 souls with no hope of being a star, or even a player in professional sports.
I know that sports engender admirable attributes in a person such as teamwork, pride of accomplishment, physical health, sportsmanship, etc. But these attributes do not depend upon the quality of the facilities. It is my opinion that they are taught to the participants by the quality of the coaching staff.
So, that being said, just where would a reasonable, thinking person place the vast majority of educational funds to try to assure these 15 million-plus souls a good high school education so they may have a good job with decent pay to be a productive citizen and raise a healthy, happy family after they graduate, hopefully, from college?
Sports or academics?
Biz giving should go to needy
EDITOR: It is reassuring and inspiring to see the ways that so many local and Bay Area individuals, businesses and nonprofits, including the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, are responding to the recent fires in Sonoma and Napa counties.
Local and Bay Area businesses should also be encouraged to seize this opportunity, at least for this year or the next couple of years, to discontinue holiday gifts to customers and clients, suspend employee and client holiday parties and donate the cost of those traditional activities to the neediest of the fire victims.
Perhaps a few of our leading local businesses could get this ball rolling this week.
Thin line between love and hate
EDITOR: Thank you for your “Glass Empty” piece Nov. 10 regarding the proposed elimination of the Federal Income Tax deduction for losses due to fires and earthquakes in the Republicans’ tax scheme.
How any intelligent, thinking, caring, feeling person can vote for the party of treason and pedophilia is completely beyond me.
The Republicans’ problem, and that of the nation, is that they hate the Democrats more than they love America.
God help us.
Breathing easier thanks to SVH
EDITOR: It is hard to believe the fires struck just a month ago as the work of rebuilding our community and its economy is now in full swing. I share in the gratitude shown to all of our first responders and military personnel during and after the fires. As a local pediatrician, I also want to recognize Sonoma Valley Hospital for the work it did in helping to care for our community’s children during that difficult time.
As we often say in pediatrics, children are not just little adults. In fact, on a pound-for-pound basis, they breathe more air than adults, but because they have relatively smaller airways, they are at higher risks of respiratory problems due to the effects of smoke and fire. So we were especially concerned by the possibility of widespread respiratory difficulties among our youth.
During the two weeks that began with that windy Sunday night, and despite many people having evacuated, the Sonoma Valley Hospital emergency room attended to over 350 patients, of which one of every eight were children and adolescents under the age of 18. Several of our community doctors and nurses also volunteered at the evacuation center at Sonoma Valley High School and other locales. In addition, the birthplace delivered five new babies when it was safe to do so, and successfully triaged several others out of the area to deliver. I am happy to report that they are all doing well.
I am also heartened to see our community institutions and civic organizations have all responded and are rising to the task. I am proud to live and work here.
Jerome C. Smith, M.D.