I baked cookies for my son's school and his father helped coach his baseball teams. My son went to Graham Middle School, Mountain View High School, and is now studying biochemistry in college.
Somehow I think there is a lot more than meets the eye as to what makes a kid join a gang. It is a shame that Muriel Sivyer-Lee trivializes the profoundly complex social phenomenon of gangs by unilaterally laying blame at Graham's door ("Mr. White Boy was in the Nortenos," Feb. 1).
The expectation that public education solve society's ills is unrealistic. The expectation that public education solve society's ills without society providing the schools with adequate resources is incomprehensible. It is ironic that the DeWitt-Oseida article shared the headlines with "School districts see budget storm coming."
It is a tragedy all around.
What to do with old jeans
Regarding Forrest Linebarger's column in the Jan. 18 Voice ("Keeping the cold at bay"), one of the insulation types listed in the chart on page 22 is recycled cotton. I've recently heard of two buildings where recycled blue jeans are used as an insulating material — the new Academy of Science building in Golden Gate Park and the Presentation Retreat and Conference Center.
Where can I go to donate used torn jeans for this purpose? They're not wearable so they can't be given to PARC or Goodwill.
Linebarger responds: Recycled cotton insulation comes from a number of sources, including denim. It is often called "denim insulation" because the blue color from the denim dominates over the white cottons also present.
Unfortunately, the cotton that is recycled comes from the manufacturer's waste stream, not recycled clothing. Thus I know of no way to get your blue jeans into insulation. May I suggest you cut your jeans up and use them as rags instead of using paper towels. Composting is another alternative.
Soggy pit bull not so cute
I don't believe it! Another pit bull! Weren't there other wet dogs at the park to photograph? ("Soggy Puppy," front-page photo, Feb. 1)
This is almost as bad as the Chronicle's article about the stupid plan to adopt out Michael Vick's dogs. These dogs are bred to be killers and no amount of cuteness, training or hopefulness will change this fact. They should not be bred, and certainly should not be "cutified."