Letters: Punishing charities | Chatbots hurt | Housing homeless | Shorter move | Health coverage | Women’s gyms

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Punishing charities noway to protest rate hike

Re: “Higher PG&E rates will cut donations” (Page A6, April 28).

The letter published Friday from Robert Droege was possibly the most absurd and ridiculous letter ever.

If, as Droege suggests, he is in the highest income level and gives substantial donations to charities, the increase in monthly PG&E fixed fee will have an insignificant impact on his way of life. What is he complaining about?

Additionally, he and his friends plan to punish local charities, who have nothing to do with PG&E, by withholding equivalent funds. While I applaud his apparent generosity, is this plan really going to help solve our problems? No, the poor and disadvantaged in our community will just be worse off.

This appears symptomatic of the many things that afflict our society today: how sad.

Chris WorrallSan Jose

Chatbots will hurtPalo Alto students

The superintendent of the Palo Alto schools has decided to embrace chatbots in his district’s high school curriculum.

I feel this is an attack on the prospects for increased autonomy and creativity that are the birthright of every teenager. A school is supposed to champion its children, not smother them — especially if they are in a district with such a high suicide rate.

“This will not be the first time,” Superintendent Don Austin said, “educators have been forced to evolve in the face of new technology.” Anyone who thinks of teachers as primarily to be forced — rather than wooed, persuaded, inspired — should be gently relieved of supervision over them.

As for the dark side of chatbots, Austin said, “Cheating is not a new problem in education.” Neither are arson, theft and rape new problems in life, but that doesn’t mean we accept them.

Marc VincentiTeacher, retiredPalo Alto

County should focuson housing homeless

Re: “Antioch opens its first transitional housing for homeless residents” (April 27).

There is no doubt that homelessness is an issue affecting several communities in the Bay Area. Yet, nothing seems to be done about it besides “relocating” people.

It is understandable that not every city can provide transitional housing; however, like Antioch, allocating other funds to such programs is possible. For example, the county of Santa Clara just approved the expansion of a new county jail that will cost approximately $680 million. I wonder if these funds could be utilized to provide much-needed help to the chronically homeless.

It is time to end stereotypes surrounding the homeless and help them get a second chance at life. A transitional housing program would provide the chronically homeless a roof over their heads, hope and faith in humanity, something many have not experienced in a long time.

Eunice VelasquezSunnyvale

A’s should considera shorter move

The Oakland A’s should have considered moving east — to eastern Alameda County. Somewhere around Dublin or Livermore would have made sense.

The population continues to grow. It puts the A’s on the doorstep of the ever-burgeoning Central Valley and the weather there is so much better. Wouldn’t it be nice to attend a night baseball game and not have to dress like you’re going to the North Pole?

I think most A’s fans would prefer a 25-mile move rather than a 556-mile move.

Mark CarbonaroMonterey

As health emergencyends, coverage at risk

The federal “public health emergency” ended on March 31 after it was first declared more than three years ago. This date marked an official end to the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic. Still, it carries with it harmful side effects: Many low-income and elderly Californians, through no fault of their own, are at risk of losing their health coverage.

As the executive director of Community Health Alliance, which directly assists eligible individuals to find insurance, enroll, navigate, find providers, secure annual exams and to stay enrolled in health insurance, and as a member organization of the California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI), I am highly vigilant of this threat. I have been working within the communities of Napa, Solano, Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties to identify the individuals most at risk of being dropped from their coverage.

Elba Gonzalez-MaresExecutive director, Community Health InitiativeSanta Clara

Women deservesafety of own gyms

Imagine: You’re doing your “hot girl walk” to the gym, fun music blaring, confidence sky high. Then, the minute you walk in, that confidence is stripped away by men’s unwanted gazes and their wandering eyes. Immediately, you walk to the far corner of the facility, where you remain for the entirety of your workout.

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This is a typical scenario that women endure when they go to their local gym. However, this discomfort can be eased by continuous, and rapid, openings of all-woman gyms. At these gyms, women will be able to work out surrounded by other supportive, motivational and powerful women. They will be comfortable trying new things and not afraid of failure. They can finally wear the attire they feel comfortable in, worry-free.

This is not just a discomfort issue, it’s a safety issue. Women should feel safe in the place they are going for their well-being.

Cristal BarajasSan Jose

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