Educare will bring quality early education
Alex Johnson”s oped about the return on investment of high-quality early education (Opinion, Jan. 15) is right on the money. Expanding and improving early learning as part of California”s educational and economic agenda is, indeed, a wise path forward.
We have long had divided educational and health systems that have come up short, even in light of research telling us why developing strong roots helps young children and families grow. In the fall, the state”s first “Educare” school will open in San Jose. Educare is a beacon for high-quality early learning that will employ research-based practices to serve children and families in poverty, train teachers and conduct research.
Creating a true education system, birth through workforce, is not going to be easy. With places like Educare and robust research on quality early learning, it is time for us to choose the right path.
Senior Vice President Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Obama assessment of al-Qaida off mark
Did I miss something? Didn”t President Obama state that al-Qaida was “junior varsity” and on the run? Of course, this is the same Obama who said that if I liked my doctor, I could keep him and there would be “no boots on the ground” in Iraq.
Trove of tech workers available at SJSU
I read with interest “Report: Regional economy lacking skilled workers” (Page 5A, Jan 15). The key word here is skilled. What industry wants is a person with an engineering/science degree who knows the industrial culture and has some time-based experience in a specific area, such as medical devices, so they can hit the ground running. They can go overseas and find educated workers with the desired industrial experience. But how much effort and support are they putting in to help develop this base at home? If the industry would work closely with, and recognize the uniqueness of, the San Jose State University student (average age 29, prior industrial tech experience, working 20 hours per week), by graduation they would be in a position to meet their need. The tech industry should refocus its priorities and funding to SJSU if it wants to meet this purported need.
Patrick P. Pizzo
Professor Emeritus of Materials Engineering San Jose State University
Vehicle-to-vehicle tech will disrupt fixed rail
Caltrain is a valuable resource and it will continue to be a key resource for Bay Area commuters. Unfortunately, advancements in vehicle technology will likely make it a challenge for Caltrain to increase “market share” of commuter traffic. Cars will have vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) systems that allow vehicles to “talk” to each other, resulting in improved efficiency on the roadways. In 2012, researchers at Columbia University showed that the capacity can be increased by almost 300 percent with V2V. As automobile manufacturers create a product that is more efficient on highways and allows direct transit from point A to B, it is difficult to see how a fixed-rail line can compete. I would suggest Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino promote policies and funding efforts that help integrate V2V into existing infrastructure.
Torture runs counter to American ideals
That a recent poll says a majority of Americans approve of torture isn”t disappointing, it”s appalling. The proclamations of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution made us a beacon on a hill. Now we hear that 60 percent of us would give up the beacon in favor of a chimera. (Perhaps those 60 percent have simply overdosed on reruns of “24.”) When our country pushed for the Geneva Conventions that banned torture, only the likes of Stalin, Hitler and Mao were in the group that approved of torture, while the United States could stand tall and say, “We don”t do that.” If we say, “Oops, didn”t mean it,” then the terrorists have truly won.
Shun restaurants that serve foie gras
Julie Callahan (Letters, Jan. 16) was dead on in her recommendation to shun restaurants that serve foie gras. I carry a list in my wallet of the restaurants mentioned in the Mercury News article on restaurants (Page 1A, Jan. 12) embracing foie gras (including those indicating “coming soon”), hoping it will make a difference. If ever I”m in a restaurant that serves foie gras, I will leave. If everyone does that, these restaurants will perhaps realize they are hurting themselves and stop promoting this terrible, atrocious, barbaric “delicacy.”
Nicole B Giroux