April 13, 2024
Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Oct. 4, 2023

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Spending priorities at
SJSU are out of whack

According to the U.S. News and World Report’s 2024 Best Colleges rankings, San Jose State University was recently voted as the top public university in the West for best value.

However, many students of the accredited university are extremely unsatisfied with the conditions of the institution. Dormitory buildings such as Joe West and Washburn Hall were constructed in the early ’60s and haven’t been modernized since. These two primarily first-year student living quarters still lack basic living necessities such as a central air conditioning system and functioning/private restroom facilities.

Additionally, the school recently spent $70 million dollars on the new athletic facility, yet students continue to go hungry as they struggle to pay for the most basic $1,500 meal plan.

The allocation of money makes the institution’s ranking of best value extremely surprising to the students who pay to attend it.

Niya Flin
San Jose

Retirement letter
offers hope for all

Re: “As I retire, a parting wish for readers” (Page A12, Oct. 1).

I wanted to express my gratitude to Ed Clendaniel for his goodbye letter published on Sunday.

I hope you have the most wonderful retirement — you’ve earned it. I also wanted to say a big thank you for leaving such a wonderful letter on your departure. Daily we hear about our democracy falling apart and about our divided country and all the other ills plaguing our nation. I think Mrs. Bafus had it right: “We will get things right in the end. It just takes longer than it should.”

Well said. Thanks for sharing. I needed a reminder.

Susanne Millar

Cheaper PG&E solution
already here: Microgrids

Re: “Undergrounding power wires is best option for PG&E” (Page A6, Sept. 26).

PG&E CEO Patti Pope incorrectly asserts that undergrounding its rural wires is the only effective solution to reducing the risk of wildfire ignitions in its service territory. In fact, PG&E has a cost-effective alternative that it has already installed in a few isolated places.

In testimony I filed on behalf of the Farm Bureau I showed that PG&E can achieve similar safety by installing “microgrids” — solar panels plus battery storage — so communities and individual households can supply their own power and turning off the local distribution network during the few weeks of high fire risk. This method would cost as little as 10% of PG&E’s proposed undergrounding program. And that ignores the additional benefits of adding more renewable power for the rest of the year.

PG&E needs to consider less-costly options.

Richard McCann

Newsom puts politics
ahead of environment

Re: “$6 gas brings anxiety, worry” (Page A1, Sept. 29).

Gov. Newsom’s directive prematurely allowing the sales of the dirtier winter formula gas once again illustrates that he will sacrifice the environment for politics.

It harkens back to his forgoing the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in favor of attending the Getty wedding, the Getty’s of oil-baron fame.

Kathryn Tomaino
Los Altos

Streamline the EBT
process for students

I write to express my irritation with the difficult process of obtaining a college Electronic Benefits Transfer card. It is discouraging that students, who are already dealing with the struggles of acquiring a higher education on their own, have to face unnecessary obstacles when seeking nutritional support. Many students struggle to afford one full meal a day, let alone three.

The complicated paperwork, conflicting requirements and prolonged waiting periods make the process extremely hard. Access to nutritious foods is a basic need for survival as well as academic success. These barriers prevent eligible students from receiving the help they need.

It is imperative that student-friendly procedures reflect the urgency of ensuring food availability for college students. This way we can prioritize efficiency and empathy when making the process easier to access EBT cards. We should also recognize that an educated and healthy population of students benefits the future success of our country.

Tiana Cello
San Jose

LGBTQ+ issues should
not be censored

Re: “A Batman researcher said ‘gay’ in a talk to schoolkids. When asked to censor himself, he quit” (Sept. 21).

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The recent situation with Marc Tyler Nobleman’s talk in Forsyth County shows increasing concerns about limiting free speech and not supporting LGBTQ+ rights.

The district stopped Mr. Nobleman from saying Batman’s co-creator’s son was gay, even though it’s an important part of the story. This shows a bigger problem where schools think talking about LGBTQ+ topics is wrong. The school says they’re protecting “parents’ rights,” but we need to ask if this stops kids from learning about understanding and acceptance.

It’s worrisome that just mentioning someone is gay is seen as wrong. We should encourage open talks and understanding, so kids get a full education without bias.

Elias Gonzalez
San Jose