"Forcing Kids to Raise Money," News, 12/28
A Former Student Solicitor Reflects
As a kid, I went to a private Seventh Day Adventist school, and every fall would go "ingathering" with my fellow church members and classmates (our K-10 school had about sixty students). I hated going door to door asking for money for missionary endeavors (which was only half-true — the church supported missions intensely, but the actual money received went into a general fund).
However, compared to this, my situation was benign. We lived in a safer time and solicited in safer neighborhoods. We had no quotas, and we had excellent adult supervision (my parents and my friends' parents were also soliciting, and were always nearby). Plus there was an organized denominational administration behind what we were doing.
I personally didn't like the pressure to ask people for money, but it was only a few nights a year, and the church did (and still does) do a lot of good things in education and health outreach worldwide — so it wasn't a scam (like this sounds like).
In this case, the parents would be well-advised to send their kids to public schools. They'll get a better education, more sleep, and they hopefully won't get conned into spending their evenings in a BART station.
Stan Erhart, San Francisco
Pimping those children under the name of the Lord is a sin and they should be put in jail.My parents were preachers and televangelists — true people of the Lord — and never asked a kid to do anything but attend church! This is shameful and criminal — typical of pulpit pimps.
Dee Dee Russell, San Francisco
The Scent of a Scam
I am proud to be a graduate of a private school, and did, on occasion, participate in fundraisers for the schools I attended. However, asking a minor to out-and-out solicit cash donations is ridiculous and asking for trouble. I would also seriously question its effectiveness as a fundraising tool. And where is all this cash going? Twenty students? How is a K-12 operating with twenty students? I smell a big, fat, stinky rat here. And he's huuuuungry!
Anne-Marie Ross, Oakland
"PG&E Loses Nuke Battle," Eco Watch, 12/28
A Nuclear-Free California
Thank you for reporting this. It gives me a lot of hope. I want to see California leading other states to become nuclear-free. I think it will have to be done on a state-by-state basis. Please continue your coverage of this issue.
Claudia Castro, Berkeley
"Quan and the 100 Percent," Editorial Cartoon, 12/14
The Height of Lunacy
The current Recall Quan cabal is a classic case of "shooting oneself in the foot." That anyone of the 99 Percent would advocate or support the recall of Oakland's progressive mayor, even during her first six months, is the height of lunacy and, if carried through, will prove a stark embodiment of the adage "be careful what you wish for... ."
Oaklanders will surely rue the day that a replacement — and that includes any current possibility — is substituted for the gold nugget that is Mayor Quan, if only permitted the time and opportunity to serve this great city.
James Vann, Oakland
"EBMUD Scuttles Sierra Dam," News, 12/7
The Dam Is Just the Beginning
EBMUD should be praised for this bold step and encouraged to take the next one: full support for National Wild and Scenic River designation for the Mokelumne. They already support designation of more than 35 miles of the river, except for the area that was to be inundated by the larger dam. With the dam out of the plan, it's in ratepayers' best interests to support the full 37-mile proposal. Otherwise, someone else could come along and propose a dam on the Middle Bar or lower Electra run.
Katherine K. Evatt
President, Foothill Conservancy
In the January 4 installment of our What the Fork column, "What's in Store," we misstated Gail Lillian's surname.
In the December 21 installment of What the Fork, "Monterey Market's CHARM," we misstated the name of the organization known by the acronym CHARM. It's the California-Hopkins Association of Residents and Merchants.
In our January 4 music story, "Punk Rock Cabaret," we incorrectly stated that DJ Lebowitz doesn't sing. He does sing, just not professionally.