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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 2 - 5

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And the beat goes on

EDITOR: As the co-organizers of this year’s Women’s March Sonoma Valley, we want to take this opportunity to let your readers know how proud we are of our town. While your article mentioned 1,000 attendees, other media outlets and those who were at the march estimate that it was closer to 2,000. That’s a tremendous turnout for our community, and a testament to the desire to have a voice and make a difference.

As a committee, the Women’s March organizers were diligent in inviting speakers who would represent the diversity of Sonoma’s female population, and in so doing, address issues that our community must confront together. Our speakers represented different races, faiths, ages, classes, sexualities and immigration statuses, and they spoke of the ways that women today face a web of intersecting issues. They articulated passionately and defiantly, as they also skillfully paved a path forward by pointing out that we are all in this together and that, even in Sonoma, we can muster a broad and diverse coalition of people with talents and energy to transform our world into the one we know we deserve.

The sound system was unfortunately insufficient to reach every one of the attendees, but that again is proof that our town cares so passionately about creating change that thousands showed up to march for a better world. Having attended marches in other major U.S. cities, we know that sound systems are often insufficient, even in those large settings. That said, we will try harder next year to improve the reach of our microphones.

We want to take this opportunity to thank our committee, our speakers, all of our supporters, and every single attendee, even those who attended “in spirit.” In the words of Dmitra Smith, one of the amazing speakers, “We see you.”

Sarah Carroll, Amy Gallagher and Angela Ryan

Sonoma

‘Hillside residential’ means just that

EDITOR: In his recent column (“How Soon We Forget,” Jan. 30) Bill Lynch pointed out that as a result of the Rosewood project controversy the city decided to amend its development code. Note that this new code adopted in 2003 zoned the area where these three homes are proposed as Hillside Residential – not open space, a park, etc. – meaning that building houses on the lots is completely legal. The city council recognized that some development could take place on Schocken Hill – it just could not be commercial. And approving these homes does not open up Schocken Hill to further development as the city has verified that these are the last city lots that can be built in the vicinity of the hill.

Bill Jasper

Sonoma

Defending our Honors

EDITOR: It’s with great dismay that I hear about the District’s decision to eliminate Honors English (“Toil and Trouble: SVHS to Cut Honors English,” Jan. 23).

Then I read the letter from a mom talking about how the regular English classes are so completely undisciplined, with kids sleeping or being rude to the teacher and being disruptive in class. I remember my own kids having that same problem 10 years ago and longer. This is indicative of a “corporate culture” that is allowing this behavior. The great majority of kids cannot learn in such an environment and it’s dooming many to failure.

This should be a huge scandal. The district needs to come up with supports for these teachers and a plan for effective discipline and correct the classroom dysfunction as the very first step. I’m sure community members would step up and “audit” classes, maybe the presence of a few more adults in the classroom would help.

I don’t know if I’d send my kids to SVHS again. So many kids are dismissed as “unwilling to learn” and so many need much remedial help to get up to speed. It would be a horrible shame to abandon the kids who need Honors English.

I’d hate to see parents feeling forced to take on the burden of private school, and I’d hate to see our only high school lose the Honors English kids. That’s a big lose/lose for everyone, including the whole greater community.

Anne Peterson

Sonoma