Union Democrat staff

Praise for teacher

To the editor:

I am writing to praise one of my teachers who does not receive as much appreciation as she deserves. Mrs. Karen Wessel, my earth science teacher, teaches eight periods of science at Summerville High School, without a prep period. These eight periods include one freshman study skills, one regular study skills, two seventh- and eighth-grade science classes, and four freshman earth science classes.

Somehow she manages to make it through the day with enough energy and patience. While teaching, she is always eager to answer questions and help us with whatever scientific problem we encounter. In addition, not once have I heard her complain about the amount of classes she has to teach or about the amount of grading she must do. I am so grateful that she puts so much time into helping us learn.

Katie Harford


Obscure policy

To the editor:

In our collective zeal for distraction - Pelosi missteps, Perez Hilton antics, American Idol and so on - sinister clouds and black rain threats go unnoticed as the administration apparently resigns itself to acceptance of Iran's nuclear aims, without so much as stocking up umbrellas against possible fallout.

Whilst we gawk at the spectacles, ingredients for World War III just might be stewing, and a blame-game against Israel could be in the making. Portentously, Caroline Glick, deputy editor and op-ed writer for the Jerusalem Post, reports (obtained from Israeli government sources): "... we have learned that the [Obama] administration has made its peace with Iran's nuclear aspirations. Senior administration officials acknowledge as much in off-record briefings. It is true, they say, that Iran may exploit its future talks with the U.S. to run down the clock before they test a nuclear weapon. But, they add, if that happens, the U.S. will simply have to live with a nuclear-armed mullocracy."

Glick goes on to state that American officials would regard any harm to American interests stemming from Israeli attack(s) on Iranian nuclear facilities as Israel's fault, not Iran's nuclear menace toward the Jewish nation that many Arabs have constantly vowed to "wipe from existence."

This is the net-affect of the armature you elected, America, although the President is a likable sort, has good intentions and heartfelt aims to better America, and many hope he succeeds. The end result of his attitudes for appeasement and placations could well one day rain down on our childrens' heads. God forbid! But get those umbrellas ready, just in case.

Mark Villasenor

Twain Harte

Ignored conflict

To the editor:

It has recently come to my attention that there is a deadly conflict going on right now that seems to be both ignored and forgotten. I was almost as appalled by the fact that I had not heard of this as I was about it actually happening. Every day tens of thousands of people die in the Congo, many of which are women and small children. Hundreds of rape cases are reported every day and about a third of the victims contract HIV. The people who survive the slaughters deal with starvation and worse than harsh living conditions. They flee one area, only to find themselves stuck in another. They are displaced, trapped and tired.

This is not a new war, or a sudden conflict, but something that has been going on for more than a few years. You could say the Congo is blessed with their available resources, but that blessing has been warped into a curse. There is a large supply of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold which is being traded with other countries to make mostly electronics like cell phones and computers. These mines are being raided, and the workers and people in surrounding villages are being slaughtered or abused. I'm asking that companies that use these materials to make their products pay attention. Take a look at who you're buying these minerals from and where their getting them. The people of the Congo have no one to protect them and nowhere to go. The least you can do is stop fueling the conflict. Stop giving these brigands a reason to kill.

Stacy Lindsey


Review laws

To the editor:

I would like to give my deepest sympathy to Officer Aitken and his family for his injuries from his car accident.

Thank God no one else was injured during Officer Aitken's pursuit. Some years ago in Tracy a pregnant young mother of two was killed by an Alameda County policeman in a pursuit. The policeman was driving through town at excessive speeds (over 60 mph) pursuing an alleged stolen car. It turned out it was not a stolen car.

Communities around the state should not be put at risk by excessive speeds by any drivers. Maybe it is time to review our laws. If 40 mph is an excessive speed on Lyons Bald Mountain Road then double that is way out of hand for anyone.

Gabby McHorn