Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 10, 1998 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

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Ukiah, California
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Wednesday, June 10, 1998
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Page 4
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A-4 Forum THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10. 1998 K.C. Meadows, editor, 468-3526 LOCALLY OPERATED MEMBER DONREY MEDIA GROUP Donald W. Reynolds, Founder Ukiah Daily ourna/ (USPS 646-920) Dennis Wilson, Publisher K.C. Meadows - Editor Janet Noe • Advertising Manager Vic Martinez - Production Manager Yvonne Ben - Office Manager Ken BoM - Circulation Manager Mtmb«f AudH Burtau _ ,„ , Of Circulation* CalHomla Nmrapapw Pubntrnra Association OTHER OPINIONS from around the nation The Sacramento Bee Presidio's plight The next few months will reveal whether the Presidio in San Francisco evolves into one of the world's great urban parks, a yuppie paradise, a mini-tenement town or just another squabble for San Franciscans. The Presidio' has received the best and worst treatment from Congress. In 1972, San Francisco Rep. Phillip Burton sponsored legislation creating an urban national park that included land next to the Presidio, which was an Army base at the time. Burton showed foresight by slipping into the bill a provision that allowed for transfer of the Presidio . to the National Park Service when it was no longer needed for military purposes. That happened in 1994. It was bad timing for San Franciscans in Washington, which was in the midst of the Republican revolution. Neither the powerful Burton, who died in 1983, nor the Democratic Party • were any match for those in Congress who saw the Presidio as a potential money drain. Unable to secure a better deal, San Francisco's Rep. Nancy Pelosi struggled to pass a bill that required the Presidio to pay for itself through a trust that would manage the property. The Presidio Trust has outlined some ways to make ends meet. It has suggested tearing down the surplus Letterman and Public Health Service hospitals and seeking development ideas from bidders. Some San Franciscans are unfairly expecting the Presidio Trust to help solve the city's shortage of affordable housing. On the city's ballot is a measure backed by Mayor Willie Brown to ensure that the Presidio's 500-unit Wherry housing complex remains affordable. To succeed in finding the right mix of monies from private sources while meeting public needs, the Presidio Trust must look beyond the circus of San Francisco politics. This is, after all, a national park. The Modesto Bee Making UC system more accessible A reasonable step toward making the University of California system more accessible to all students is under consideration by university regents. The plan by UC admissions officials would make the top 4 percent of students from each public high school in the state eligible for admission to one of the UC's eight campuses. The plan would not make a significant impact on the racial diversity at UC; computer simulations show African-American and Hispanic students combined would increase from 11 percent to 12 percent. It would, however, take a positive step toward making the state's most selective university system more accessible to students of all backgrounds who work hard to achieve despite discouraging surroundings. Under the current system, a clear advantage is given to students who attend suburban schools with rich offerings of honors courses. Students taking such courses can achieve grade-point averages well above 4.0. Students at high-performing suburban schools are also more likely to get coaching for college admissions tests, along with peer and faculty motivation to seek admission. The 4 percent plan, along with other proposed changes in admissions criteria — such as elimination of extra grade points for honors courses and including 'plus' and 'minus' grades in grade-point calculations — would make up for some of these inequities. It also would restore some credibility to the notion that in California, students who work hard and aim high are given an equal chance to compete at the top. Looking for information To the Editor: In the past, the Ukiah Daily Journal carried a directory of community clubs and organizations. I had gotten so use to seeing it there that a year and a half ago when I decided to join the local Toastmasters Club to work on my public speaking skills,,! looked in the paper to find the day and time of their meetings and lo to my surprise it was no longer there. So I turned to the Yellow Pages and did find out through an 800 number that the Ukiah Toastmasters meets on Friday mornings at the American Savings Bank at Gobbi and S^State St. at 6:30 am. When did this wonderful Directory disappear and why? I miss it and imagine other people do too. I love the way me UDJ keeps me informed! about things going on in my community. There have been many times that people have asked me how I've known about things going on in town and I've told them "I read it in the Journal." I know you have done some wonderful special issues profiling Women in Business on a yearly basis. I'm wondering if you would have any interest in doing an issue featuring Community Organizations (maybe you have a_nd I missed it)? There are so many ^dnderful things going on in town such as ToaSlmasters, the Saturday Afternoon Club, the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project, to name a few. I'm sure your readers would leam much from such a special issue. I would also like to know if there currently is any directory of Community Organizations in existence. I noticed on the computer at the library that when you select the option for Community Resources you get a wonderful directory of organizations in Sonoma County. I was told by the reference librarian, Pat Hunt, that Sonoma County Library received a grant that allowed them to put this together. Any grant writers or donors out there interested in making this happen in Mendocino County? Please call me if you are interested in such a project at 462-6570. Karen Poplawski Ukiah Editor's note: There was indeed such a listing in the Daily Journal a few years back. It was discontinued because the organizations listed often forgot to tell us when a meeting time orfflace or their phone number changed. Consequently the listing was often in error and we felt it was no longer a service to our readers. Nonetheless we are considering reinstituting it. The only other similar listing we know of is kept by the Ukiah Chamber of Commerce. City paving questioned To the Editor: * I recently observed Smith Street between Dora and Spring being paved. The condition of this street compared to some other streets in this city is excellent. How about paving Perkins Street between State and Orchard streets? These streets have constant traffic, Smith Street does not. When I drive down these streets it sounds like my car is going to fall apart. Whoever in the City of Ukiah is making these brainless decisions is a disgrace to our community and should be replaced with someone who will make intelligent decisions for the good of the community. Kelly Swanson Ukiah Farmers not to blame Al Gore's GoverATf\ent -Simlification Initiative OLD: Request For £Vow a candidate to facilitate O f his OLD'."Making a contribution IP a political party for the purpose of strengthening democracy tVough party -b u ildii\g activities." President BiU Clinton: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500; (202) 456-1111, FAX (202)456-2461. Governor Pete Wilson: State Capitol, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-2841; FAX (916)4454633. Sen. Barbara Boxer: U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; (202)224-3553; San Francisco, (415) 403-0100. Sen. Dianne Feinstein: U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510. (202)224-3841; San Francisco (415) 536-6868. Congressman Frank Riggs: 1st District, 1714 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3311; Fax (202)225-3403. Field representative in Napa, Pam Simpson, 1700 Second St., Suite 378, Napa, 94559. Phone 254,7308. E-mail repriggs@hr.nouse.gov. MEW:' SKakedown." OLD: Passive Voice! NEW. Active Voice A CON-TRI-SU-T/ON 0UD-DHIST GREAT-LV CoN-TW-BU-TED HEAVM-UV AMP KNOW WHAT THEY Dip TO THE INTI-BET... To the Editor: Regarding water quality problems on the Garcia Thank YOU River Watershed: A friend called me and said she had heard on the radio - "that the farmers had been given a year to clean up their mess!," and she asked, "Is this pesticides?" I answered, "No, this is silt that has gotten into the river and is thought to be damaging to the fish habitat!" It would seem that some wise guys out there are bad mouthing the farmers and the loggers! Perhaps a sock full of cow manure in their big blabby mouths might be good for what ails them! Let us be real about this problem, which has more to do with logging than with farming. For instance, I can well remember when Windsor and Novato were the size that Manchester is now; Santa Rosa was far smaller than now, and the Sea Ranch was still sheep pasture. Now all of that country is chock full of big wooden houses and stores and parking lots. Whom can you really blame but high finance? And - how many of the farmers and loggers do you find living in these big expensive places - that used the lumber that caused the problem? As to the deterioration of the salmon numbers, there could be other causes than silt - such as the protected status of sea lion and of the river otter, which have twice cleaned out our own stocked trout ponds and, so, discontinued our private fishery. Also piedators are the large numbers of outside fishermen and renters. Dorothy Halliday Point Arena Thank you To the Editor: All the staff, clients and administration of the County Public Health Department's Division of Alcohol and Other Drug Programs would like to express our gratitude to the Ukiah merchants who helped to make our recent graduation a beautiful, tasty and successful event: Albertson's Food Center, Carl's Jr, the Coffee Critic, the Garden Bakery, Lucky Distributors, McDonalds, Oak Valley Nursery, Rain Forest Fantasy Florists, Schatz' Bakery and Seltzer Realty. Thank You! Leslie Kirkpatrick Mendocino County Public Health Department Alcohol and Other Drug Programs gratefulness toward those of you who have offered your time, means, and talent. We thank our church', our neighbors, Ukiah Unified employees, Mendocino College employees, and the many members of this community. . ' Acts of kindness and support too numerous to mention have been extended toward our family by a community who truly knows the meaning of compassion. This is what makes this community such a wonderful place in which to live, one in which our children want to remain, and one that Sean truly loved. You have all left an" indelible mark in our hearts. Darwin and Nina Richardson Family Ukiah Thank you To the Editor: Because of the continued commitment to the children in our community by the Ukiah Daily Journal and the Savings Back of Mendocino Coun, ty, we have,once again been able to recognize over 400 students whp have been selected during the past year as Students of the Month and who will also become our Students of the Year. Through the generosity of both the Ukiah Daily Journal and Savings Bank of Mendocino, we were able to hold our Students of the Month reception at the Ukiah High School on Wednesday, June 3, and were able to honor those students for their hard work and dedication. Ukiah Unified School District also wishes to thank Doug Adams of Skate City, Dave Stacy of Carl's Jr., and Michelle Leoni of Ukiah Speedway for their participation in this program. It is the efforts of these sponsors in our community that have enabled the school district to meet the needs of our children, and we thank them sincerely for their involvement and encouragement of our students. Kimberly M. Logan, Ed.D. Superintendent Ukiah To the Editor: Our family would like to take this opportunity to The Daily Journal welcomes letters (o the editor. Only letters that include pxnn»<!<! nnr sinrf-rp oratihirlf tn the- I Tldah anH cur- a Ie 8 ible signature, return address and phone number will be considered. express our sincere grauruoe 10 me UKian ana sur- Shorteri concisc | ellers win be givcn p £ ference and names will no , be rounding Community for the many acts Of kindness withheld for any reason. All letters are subject to editing. and compassion shown us since the death of our son, Sean Richardson. Words cannot express our ' R0 - Bo * ™>These girls say no to sex, yes to excellence Ukiah Daily Journal's email :address is: udj@saber.net. It's cool. That's what I've failed to convey adequately in previous articles about the phenomenon called Best Friends. To get the feel for just how hip and fun this group is, you have to picture staid Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. — home of the prim Daughters of the American Revolution. This is the site from which Marian Anderson, the great black contralto, was famously excluded by the DAR in 1939, prompting Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the organization and arrange for Anderson to hold her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The DAR has of course dramatically changed since then, but the Hall itself continues to look and feel stiff and formal. At least, it feels that way empty. Enter several hundred participants in the Best Friends program, and you've got pulsing, vibrating, get-up-and- dance energy. At the close of every school year, Best Friends, an abstinence program for young girls founded and run by Elayne Bennett, holds its "Recognition Ceremony." It's a chance for the girls to show off what they've learned and reconfirm what they stand for, and for outsiders to get a peek at the good it is always possible to do in this world. These girls are not supposed to be so happy and upbeat about their lives. Read the news stories about the schools they attend and the neighborhoods they live in, and you will despair. Bennett's great insight, over 11 years ago, was that while many people deplored sexual promiscuity, drugs and violence among the young, no one Mona Cha Mona Charen was teaching them how to avoid these things. The enlightened attitude of "experts" was that teenage sexual activity was as natural and inescapable as chicken pox (and about as benign). Members of the establishment responded by handing out condoms and covering their eyes. The Best Friends approach is a little different. You should see these girls, ages 9 through 18, in their blue and pink T-shirts and baseball caps, rocking to the beat of the Best Friends theme song and shouting "NO!" to the question "What do you say to sex and drugs?" Through Best Friends, they've learned that boyfriends who demand sex as the price of sticking around are not worth having and that a girl who makes good decisions has the power to become a dignified young lady. They are also learning to respect the power of hard work, study-and the pursuit of excellence. Thanks to an original donation by Bill Bennett (Elayne's husband) and subsequent generosity by many others, Best Friends now has a thriving college scholarship recipient was introduced at Constitution Hall, the girls went wild - particularly for the young lady who had achieved a 4.0 grade point average. You would have thought they were cheering a sports star. ; Each participant in the Best Friends program gets at least 110 hours a year of guidance (frorn adult mentors), health and fitness information, dance classes and choral singing. It's a continuing challenge for the Best Friends directors to find music with acceptable lyrics for the girls to sing and dance to. For that reason, but also because so many of the girls are black, Best Friends has lately introduced classical jazz - a musical form as unknown to them as Baroque. They know rap, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and hip hop, but the rich American tradition of jazz - one of the great fusions of African and Western traditions - is new to them. So it sends a bit of a thrill down the spine to watch these girls swing to "Blue Skies" and "Accentuate the Positive." Those are fitting theme songs for a program that achieves such spectacular results. The pregnancy rate among Best Friends girls is 1.1 percent. For comparable girls in the District of Columbia public schools, the rate is 26 percent. As Maria Bennett, a ninth-grader from Washington, D.C., and one of the essay-contest award winners put it, "As I keep the Best Friends message of self-respect, self-restraint and doing the right thing in the forefront of my mind, I know I will accomplish my goals and become the woman I aspire to be." Because of this program, we can have the same confidence for thousands of girls around the nation. ^

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