Letters to the Editor

LETTERS Academic decathlon, stand up, farm labor, etc.

The Bella Vista Academic Decathlon team studies for the 2014 state decathlon.
The Bella Vista Academic Decathlon team studies for the 2014 state decathlon. lsterling@sacbee.com

AcaDec was a great experience

Re “Academic decathlon is a team sport” (Viewpoints, Dec. 31): I appreciated Eileen Wilson’s article about academic decathlon. During my four years at Ponderosa High School in El Dorado County, I devoted countless hours to “AcaDec,” as we called it, competing for two years as an alternate and two years as a team member.

All of our study time was after school or on weekends, and therefore required dedication and patience. Some of my best memories from high school center on the tight-knit team we cobbled together, representing a range of personalities and working styles. It was a wonderful growth experience, and I hope that more schools participate and support their teams with the resources they need.

– Brenton Clark, Sacramento

Academic decathlon needs volunteers

As a volunteer for the Sacramento County Academic Decathlon for the last couple of years, students have told me about how competing helped them make friends and do better in school. The friendships and academic success resulting from Academic Decathlon happen every year in Sacramento and in other schools throughout California and the nation.

To support the work of students, their families and coaches, volunteers are needed for Sacramento County’s competition, which will be held Feb. 7 at Inderkum High School. For information on volunteering and to sign up, please go to the Sacramento County Office of Education’s webpage at scoe.net.

The experience of working with the students is well worth anyone’s time because it acknowledges the months of hard work that students put in preparing for the event and watching the intelligence and poise of these students would give anyone optimism for our country’s future.

– Jason Orta, Sacramento

Standing up

Re “We need to stand up for cops” (Viewpoints, Dec. 31): While I welcome the recent protests regarding our criminal justice system as a sign of a more engaged citizenry and an awakening of public discourse, I hope that those who are leading it will educate themselves about the actual issues before more lives are ended.

The issue isn’t the cops. Not only do the police give the rest of us a civil society – with peace and good order – as Ruben Navarrette explains in his commentary, they do so at tremendous risk to their own welfare. Their jobs are among the toughest, and if you don’t believe that, just ride along with them while on patrol.

The system is skewed against the accused – black or white – but the battleground is not on the backs of the police.

– Nancy Luque, Carmichael

Wanted: Cheap farm labor

Re “More jobs for Americans” (Letters, Dec. 31): Farmers aren’t afraid of a labor shortage, they’re afraid of cheap labor shortage. When does the rule for supply and demand apply? Farmers are well known for being cheap when it comes to labor. They employ people for two or three months a year and then put the burden on taxpayers for social programs for the rest the year. They get sympathy by saying that “the price of food will increase if they raise wages.” Even if that’s true, will the price of a head of lettuce increased by a nickel be noticed?

– Calvin Schiefferly, Elk Grove

Apologize and walk away

Re “Using schoolkids to promote religion is a shameless ploy” (Viewpoints, Dec. 30): Once again, adults, with our personal baggage and self-importance, have missed the point in this fiasco. Setting aside the commentary about religion in schools for a moment, let’s look at what happened.

One child invites another to a movie, and has a flier about it. The parent now has the opportunity to teach manners (“Thank you for the invitation”), resolve (“We won’t be attending”), and graciousness (“But it was kind of you to think of us”). Instead, we bring out the forms, the rules and the lawyers, make a big mess and again throw our town and children to the lions.

Now we have another teaching moment: humility, tolerance and accord. It’s time for the adults to apologize to the kids involved, chalk up the incivility to holiday stress, walk away and have a glass of eggnog.

– Hjordes Norman, Loomis


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