Business programs are an integral part of Marin’s education
Citizens of Marin owe a big thank you to the Barbara and Charles Goodman Foundation for contributing $50,000 to Marin County Schools for Trades Education (“Marin Schools Get $50,000 Training Grant in the trades”, January 22).
In a county where most parents think their children should go to a top-notch college, the education of those with talents for the trades has been neglected. The significance of this hole in our education system has become evident during the pandemic. Trying to get a carpenter, plumber, electrician or any other trades professional is tough right now.
San Rafael High School had a buzzing auto shop. It has been replaced by a magnificent building for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. There is no car workshop there. Yet, without this auto shop, our daughter might not have survived her Peace Corps service. Knowing how to operate his motorcycle has been a lifesaver.
Students with the talent sought by the trades must have the same educational opportunities as those who wish to pursue a college education. We need them.
—Gladys C. Gilliland, San Rafael
California rail project expected to align with airlines
I see Governor Gavin Newsom wants to give more money to the high-speed rail project (“Governor Newsom Doubles Funding for High-Speed Rail, Pledges $4.2 Billion to Complete Central Valley Segment,” 14 January). The ill-conceived plan ignores the realities of transportation in California.
We already have airports. These facilities offer parking, shuttles, taxis, ticketing, security, maintenance, baggage, traffic control, transfer points and terminals, among others. The rail system should be reconfigured to go from airport to airport across the state.
More importantly, airlines should be given the opportunity to bid for the management of the operation. We could reduce jet pollution and not turn our backs on airline management to manage it effectively.
This is a chance for Newsom to stop a bureaucratic nightmare and change the top-down direction of the state with real, innovative and honest leadership.
— John Carapiet, Belvedere
Petaluma pump could supply desalinated water
There is a pump station on the outskirts of the west side of Petaluma on Kastania Road. It sends water to the North Marin Water District to the Stafford Reservoir in Novato, as well as to reservoirs in the Marin Municipal Water District. The Petaluma River runs under the freeway near the station.
I think a barge in the Petaluma River could eventually supply desalinated water to the pump to distribute to the various districts, and then the reservoirs could be filled as needed. Barges could also fill tankers and other modes of transport to provide much-needed water for remote ranches, vineyards and coastal elk.
MMWD and NMWD officials should coordinate and find a workable solution. The Marin water municipalities cannot depend on other agencies to solve their problem.
Once again Governor Gavin Newsom has a huge funding surplus. With modern desalination technology being used around the world, it’s a wonder our water districts haven’t used this process.
– John C. Baseheart, Novato
The new term “Latinx” is linguistically awkward
I object to the use of “Latinx” in place of Latino or Latina.
As a former Marin resident who follows local news, I noticed the term in a recent quote from an IJ article. Besides being difficult to pronounce, it seems useless in a language like English, which is already almost completely genderless. A few remaining vestiges like the waiter-waitress, actor-actress distinction are quickly removed.
In contrast, in Latin countries like Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal and the whole of Latin America where Romance languages are widely spoken, everything has a gender. All articles, definite and indefinite, and all nouns are feminine or masculine.
Even adjectives and verbs must “agree”. This is purely a matter of convention. The word planet, for example, is masculine in Spanish and Italian, feminine in French.
— John Kress, Tlatlauquitepec (Mexico)