Bullying is a complex issue that deserves our community's attention. Luckily, Adolescent Counseling Services is hosting a televised discussion to be broadcast live from the Media Center on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m. on the subject.
I urge parents, teachers, administrators and community members to watch the program where I hope these questions will be addressed:
*What are the most effective school-based programs to prevent bullying?
*Do you have tips for helping parents, who often don't know if their child is engaging in bullying behavior or a victim of it, explore the issue with their children?
*What can be done to combat the rise of cyber-bullying in this electronic age when many (most, I suspect) teenagers conceal their online activities from parents and other adults?
*Bullying, as victim or perpetrator, is just one negative symptom of a child's social-emotional condition; should school districts consider adopting district-wide social-emotional health-education programs with articulated K-12 curriculum?
*School districts have been perceived as being too punitive while, at the same time they have been criticized for turning a blind eye to bullying. What is your perception of how school administrators deal with bullying? Do you have suggestions for dealing with student conduct issues?
We all can be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can choose a positive course by thinking about your own questions about bullying, considering what steps you can take, and standing up for children's social-emotional health.
By working together we can create a bully-free community.
Our children deserve nothing less.
Print vs. e-books
In the Nov. 19 issue regarding print vs. digital books, Palo Alto Councilman Greg Scharff states that print books are "too heavy" and will become "anachronistic."
He reminds me of the philosopher Schopenhauer, who wrote, "When a head and a book come into collision and one sounds hollow, is it always the book?"
The future may well see only e-books read by persons sitting on their spreading behinds while Kepler's, Bell's Books and Borders wither and die.
Then new thinkers like Scharff will want to shutter the dusty Louvre, Metropolitan and British museums and reduce civilization's greatest art, sculpture and architecture for lazy viewing on Kindles. Saves tramping through the Museum of Modern Art, the Prado and DeYoung.
But what a pity future generations will miss the exquisite pleasure of curling up in a cozy corner on a rainy night with a gripping, real book.
Maybe the councilman should try light fiction.
Cal Ave project
Thank you for covering the so called "traffic calming" project on California Avenue.
The article mentioned that the Cal. Ave. businesses are against narrowing the street. You neglected to mention Cal. Ave. neighbors are also against the proposed narrowing.
They've expressed this vociferously at community meetings. At the two meetings I attended I don't recall a single voice saying it was a good idea. Rather, everyone expressed the desire to keep the street at four lanes and the parking as is.
Some people also said we don't need to beautify our street, we like it the way it is. I'm certainly in this camp: keep it four lanes. We don't need "calming" and we don't need beautification.
As I listened at the community meetings, I heard great enthusiasm from Jaime Rodriguez, our new chief transportation officer, for getting $1M from VTA for this project. It seemed to me that he wants to make his mark, more than he wants to serve our community.
Let's not let VTA grant money and an ambitious new transportation chief dictate our projects. Listen to the people. Businesses and neighbors don't want to narrow California Avenue. We'd just like to get the street resurfaced and striped.
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