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A compromise on the time change is in order
Winter time or summer time? Currently, this appears to be a matter of national importance in Congress. Arguments in favor of the half-yearly clock change relate to providing more morning sunshine during the winter, especially for school children, and providing longer sunny evenings for commuting and after-work activities. But the time change is associated with statistically observed adverse effects on the cardio health of some people. Also, morning/evening commuters driving SE or SW simply take the rising/setting sun out of their eyes when the time change puts the sun back inside.
Well, how about compromising? Let’s establish the Optimum Time (OT), halfway, and leave our clocks there all year round. Schoolchildren and commuters would have ½ hour earlier sunlight plus ½ hour more evening light all year round, and we would avoid the health problems aggravated by the twice-yearly time change. And we could stop bickering. About time.
Parents’ role in children’s mental health left out
In the opinion piece “California needs greater urgency for mental health care” (page A6, November 10), Jim Beall writes that “most mental health problems start in the childhood and are generally not recognized and treated”. He points to the lack of mental health professionals.
For educational efforts to be more successful during the pandemic, parent participation was necessary. Unfortunately, given the demands of modern life, parents rarely have that time, availability, or energy.
For the mental health of the child, appropriate discipline, structure, and boundaries are imposed by the parent until the child can integrate these elements. These also require a level of time, availability and energy. There are levels of parental depression and anxiety that are communicated to the child.
The professional teacher and therapist alone cannot meet the challenge. (Of course, on some occasions there are areas of professionalism that are needed to support the mental health of the child.)
Avoid holiday tragedy; don’t drink or drive
Holiday season: Gatherings with family and friends. These events can have life-changing consequences, such as drunk driving.
When I was 16 in 1992, a drunk driver ran me over. I can walk and talk now, but my hearing is damaged. For more than 30 years, I read lips and I can’t hear music well. “Irish Christmas in America” at Berkeley sounds like a wonderful event, but I couldn’t hear the merry holiday tunes. Drunk drivers hurt lives in many ways.
Planning to attend a party? Make smart decisions now if you’re considering drinking: Don’t drive drunk. I urge you to have a sober friend, taxi, etc. to drive you to and from your location. This guarantees the safety of everyone on the road.
My sober driving message will never get old because it saves lives. Happy Holidays.
It’s time to refocus on the fight against tuberculosis
As COVID-19 cases decline around the world, it’s time to shift attention back to the previous global pandemic: tuberculosis. Before COVID arrived, TB rates had dropped, but in 2021 the death toll has risen to 1.6 million people.
Tuberculosis is not as contagious as COVID, but its drain on the global economy is significant. In 2017, the Lancet estimated that the global cost of the disease between 2015 and 2030 would be nearly $1 trillion. Given inflation and the decline in non-COVID disease control since 2020, it’s fair to say the estimate is higher now.
I want to thank Reps. Mike Thompson and Mark DeSaulnier for co-sponsoring the End TB Now Act (HR 8654) and urge Rep. Jerry McNerney to do the same before he retires in January. I also urge the senses. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla to co-sponsor the Senate version of the bill (S. 3386).
The division dates back to the 80s, comes from the right
Regarding David Brooks’ column (“Can anyone explain why Democrats don’t beat these guys?” Page A17, November 7), he was puzzled by our heightened political division, stating “I don’t fully understand why this animosity has increased over the past two decades.
I respect Brooks as a genuine, caring conservative Republican, but I would like to point out the following: While the division has always been there, it really took off in the 1980s when talk radio turned into hate radio. This was led primarily by Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. The floodgates opened when the equal time rule was abolished, allowing opinion rather than facts to dominate what was broadcast.
Then comes the Fox empire and the rise of unregulated social media, and you have our current situation. Although the left is not without sin, I would argue that it is the right that has spewed the most vitriol, hatred, and outright lies over the past two decades.
Richard AckermanCastro Valley
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