July 20, 2024
Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Aug. 15, 2023

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PG&E must insulate
its bare wires

Re: “Outages marring PG&E’s upgrades” (Page A1, Aug. 10).

Those who decry the frequent power outages associated with modernized circuit breakers should lobby the CPUC and our legislators to demand that the utility immediately insulate its bare wires. This can be accomplished relatively quickly and cost-effectively compared to undergrounding, allowing the sensitivities on the circuit breakers to be lowered more than they already are.

Over the years, and for many reasons, PG&E has caused much suffering with its reckless management strategies geared only toward maximum profit. And the CPUC has been complicit. We must all use the power of our voices and votes loudly and clearly to get these two agencies to act more responsibly.

Jennifer Normoyle

CDE was wrong to
target Stanford professor

Re: “Pandemic over, but absences still high” (Page A1, Aug. 11).

In 1863 in his Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln said, “that government of the people, by the people and for the people should not perish from the Earth.” Did California’s Department of Education “kill” the right of the people by fining Thomas Dee, a standard education professor, $50,000 and prohibiting him from accessing future data from the CDE?

Professor Dee filed in court alleging the state and the CDE failed to protect low-income Black, Hispanic and other marginalized students from the commonly understood disproportionate inferior learning caused by remote learning during the pandemic. With the data, Dee spoke truth to power for the people.

Dee is right; the CDE is wrong.

Joseph Di Salvo
San Jose

Google should make
Chromebooks functional

Re: “Chromebooks still a good deal for schools” (Page A6, Aug. 2).

Robert Macartney pointed out that textbooks need to be replaced every so often. I attended a small, underfunded high school. My physics textbook was 20 years old. Yes, it was in poor condition. Yes, it was outdated. But it got the job done. I learned physics.

The hardware in those Chromebooks is still good. Google needs to release a basic operating system that would allow them to do the minimum functions. A student with a computer that only does the minimum is better than a student with no computer.

Max Steinke
San Jose

Trump’s ego has
damaged the U.S.

Minimally, eight people have died, several lawyers have had their licenses revoked, countless people have suffered because of death threats lodged against them, a number of moderate Republicans have lost their House jobs, scores of people involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection have been sentenced to prison, Jim Crow laws have been enacted that will deny many the right to vote, the nation has lost faith in its democratic institutions and all of this because Donald J. Trump could not simply say in November 2020 what Barack Obama said in 2016: “Congratulations on your victory. I will help in your transition to the White House in any way I can.”

What a waste and what a shame. So much pain and suffering to massage the ego of this one man. I only hope our democracy will be resilient enough to survive what Trump has wrought.

Bob Parker
San Jose

Neither party leading
toward healthy debate

Re: “Idea hopes to turn toxic fights into healthy debate” (Page A7, Aug. 10).

Indeed it would be great for our country to promote such a healthy action. Start with the people we choose to elect to office.

So far both parties have proven that “in defeat they are unbearable and in victory they are unbearable.” We seem to follow as voters and the news media — “We can’t seem to see the belt without hitting below it.” That seems to leave us with a society of victims.

Thank you for this article.

Linda Adams
Los Gatos

Let’s choose new
path in 2024 election

Re: “End all legacy admissions at private colleges” (Page A6, Aug. 2).

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I love this country. I have taught her history for over 40 years, and I am worried.

The upcoming presidential election appears to be between two people who have very serious problems. One has been indicted and is accused of several felonies. The other is too old to serve another term and is increasingly showing his age.

That great sage, Yogi Berra, once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” I sincerely hope that in this case, for the good of our country, we take neither fork. It’s time to look hard and travel in another direction.

Norman Orloff
San Jose