Readers unhappy with changes along Peninsula
The natives are restless. That state of affairs has been confirmed by the reaction to a recent screed in this space relating to San Mateo County’s growing traffic ills and other quality of life issues created by the booming Silicon Valley economy.
The clear verdict from those readers who chose to chime in via email or regular mail was: The situation is bad and getting worse. In all, there were close to 20 direct responses. Only one even hinted at a contrarian point of view. Some samples follow: Tina Peak transmitted an email that read, in part: “It is obscene the way, local, county and state officials roll over to the development and business interests that want to destroy our quality of life by turning the Peninsula into a 100-mile-long, five-mile-wide Manhattanesque vision to ouse all the worker bees for their factories.”
Referring to a huge, new, unsightly, multi-story development along the Caltrain rail line in San Carlos, one blogger (writing in The Burlingame Voice), who claimed to be at least somewhat open to some forms of growth here, responded to the col- umn that was reprinted there: “... I must drive by that monstrosity several times a week and it frightens even the likes of me.”
Mike Bravo chimed in too, noting that, “While we understand that some progress is good, in the last two or three years, building has been rampant up and down the Peninsula. ... Here in San Carlos, you have a gargantuan apartment project built right up against El Camino Real.”
Dina Matteucci wrote to say that she, too, is unhappy with the pace of progress in these parts, adding that she hoped the column might be “an eyeopener for residents who have not been paying attention to what is happening.”
Ellen Macneale summed up her view succinctly in an email: “Enough already.”
The optimistic myth that all high school students should attend college and pursue a fouryear professional degree persists. But the actions of officials who operate the California State University System, the biggest such taxpayer-funded operation in the U.S., indicate otherwise, although they probably don’t want to admit it.
Considering the number of freshmen who, somehow, are admitted to colleges like San Francisco State and San Jose State without the ability to pass either an English or mathematics entrance test (or both), those authorities have decided to eliminate or significantly alter their remedial course requirements.
The purported reason: Students in remedial classes tend to drop out of college at higher rates than their more proficient peers.
According to statistics provided by the state system, about 28 percent of regularly admitted freshman required remedial math; for English, it was 23 percent.
Here’s a thought: Since not all high school students are cut out for a traditional college experience in the first place (we can’t all be lawyers, engineers, physicians, accountants, teachers and such), secondary schools might want to provide an alternative; bring back bluecollar training in fields like plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, automobile repair, etc.
It only makes sense. Trying to fit a round peg in a square academic hole has never made much sense.