Marin IJ Readers Forum for November 27, 2021 – Marin Independent Journal


The use of measure A for fire prevention is superfluous

There is a move to include forest fire management as part of the renewal of the funding of Measure A for parks, open spaces and farms (“Funds for the maintenance of marine farms reduced in the tax renewal draft”, November 16).

These lawyers need to look at their tax bill. There’s a hefty voter-approved annual fee now specifically for forest fire prevention. While fire safety is vital in our warming climate, I don’t think we really need to divert parking funds to a redundant program.

– Elaine Reichert, Santa Veneto

California community colleges are a great thing

I am writing regarding Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine’s California Voice comment, “State’s Community Colleges Deserve More Support,” Nov. 19.

Remember, these educational opportunities are for everyone, not just new high school graduates. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree after high school, which ultimately didn’t improve my career prospects, I went back to college (West Valley Community College in Saratoga to study architecture) when I was 30. I did it again in my 50s (College of San Mateo) to study civil engineering. In any case, the important thing was the further training in the chosen profession – the application of this knowledge – not the studies.

For young people leaving high school, keep in mind that not everyone is free for four years of college. Those who choose to take a two-year certification from a community college may find two years in a well-paying career while some of their peers are still piling up educational debts.

At $ 46 per unit, California community colleges are the best deal. Two of the best teachers I have ever met taught in West Valley and one in San Mateo. There is no better way to train.

Despite the low tuition fees, some students will need help in achieving the goal of certification for a well-paying career. A modest donation to scholarship funds (most schools have a foundation that does this) is one of the best investments you can ever make. As our society becomes more and more complex technologically, we will need qualified technicians of all kinds to make it work on even the simplest level.

– David Hirzel, San Rafael

Proud to be part of the polio vaccination process

One of my earliest memories of vaccination was waiting for the polio vaccine in Marin County in 1963 at the age of 7. I remember feeling excited and proud to be part of a large community initiative. The oral vaccination via sugar cubes at this age improved my memory even more.

This vaccination campaign was very successful nationwide. No cases of polio have occurred in the United States since 1979, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Before the polio vaccine was available, the specter of the disease frightened people. Children my age were affected.

I received a vaccination card that said: “Keep this card”. It was such an important experience for me that I still own this card almost 60 years later.

Please join our community to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

– Marcy Amonette, San Anselmo

Comfortable retirement prevented by provision

I retired from the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in 1994 with more than 20 years of service. I’ve been paying into social security for over 20 years. I thought I would have a comfortable retirement, but that’s not true.

After 10 years of community service, the Windfall Elimination Commission was passed. It took away two thirds of my social security benefits. So much for a comfortable retirement. Ironically, I am entitled to subsidized housing. I urge our elected officials to press for the removal of this very unfair law.

As a retired federal employee, I write to help raise awareness of the devastating impact of the WEP on nearly 2 million people. This policy reduces the social security benefits earned by local, state, and state retirees who have worked in private sector social security employment and who have also received a pension from their non-social security government employment. The WEP can result in a monthly Social Security benefit that is $ 498 less than earned, creating an unreasonable financial hardship.

Why should we be punished for working hard for our country?

In addition, the spouses feel the burden of state pension adjustment, a similar penalty that prevents them from receiving the social security benefits their spouses earned as a result of their public service in the private sector. The GPO affects 716,662 beneficiaries, 47% of whom are widows or widowers and 83% women.

We rightly earned these benefits in exchange for our dedication and hard work for the nation. Therefore, I invite other retirees affected by WEP and GPO to join me in calling on Congress to repeal these unfair provisions. It is high time we stopped punishing ourselves for our public service and allowed ourselves to cash in on what we rightfully deserve.

– Norma Buckley, Vacaville

The driveway to Highway 101 in Mill Valley needs repairs

Every day, hundreds of drivers trying to travel north on Highway 101 from East Blithedale Avenue to Mill Valley face a dangerous and stressful situation.

The right-turn lane is often reversed, so many drivers stay to the left (in the direction of Tiburon) and turn at the very last moment. In response, angry, “ethical” drivers keep minimal, unsafe distances to the vehicle in front in the right lane. This whole dangerous situation can be alleviated simply by lengthening the solid white line. Some drivers would still intervene, but at least it would be illegal. And I would visit Mill Valley more often.

– Barry Spitz, San Anselmo

Be careful when citing vaccine side effects

I am writing in response to Basia Crane’s recently published letter to the editor. I believe she failed to properly interpret the data on the COVID-19 vaccine side effect reporting system.

The foreword on the VAERS website states, “Anyone can report an adverse event to VAERS.” Hence, many reports are submitted by people who have no experience in assessing the cause and effect behind the “incident”. Even health professionals who report adverse events are unsure whether these events were actually due to the administration of the vaccine.

During my career as director of a hospital pharmacy, I have reported on a number of incidents where vaccination timing coincided, but I had doubts whether the two were related at all. Health and Human Resources officials state in the same foreword that “VAERS is not intended to determine whether a vaccine has caused a health problem”. A very wide net is to be cast, followed by an intensive evaluation of any trends.

Crane’s criticism of COVID-19 vaccines for failing to prevent people from getting and passing on the virus ignores the vaccine’s purpose. From the beginning, the pharmaceutical industry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made it clear that a vaccine would drastically reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections in hospital stays and deaths. Marin County’s experience proved this prediction to be spot on.

– Michael Sillman, delphinium

Anti-vaccine conspiracy must stop

I was sad to read the letter from Basia Crane published on November 20th. In casting doubts about the effects of COVID-19 vaccines, it appears to have been influenced by the anti-vaccine conspiracy that has led so many naive and trusting conservatives to unnecessarily expose themselves to the deadly COVID-19 virus .

We all have to wake up. We all need to get vaccinated against the virus before it’s too late.

– Dave Cellers, Novato


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