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Letters to the Editor

Sheriff’s cadet program helps students

Marlene Cowan’s article on Sheriff Laurie Smith mentions the invaluable role the Sheriff’s Office plays in promoting the safety of Los Altos Hills, Cupertino and Saratoga (“County sheriff Smith reviews long career, touts public-safety record,” Dec. 4).

Many of your readers may not be aware of another, less-publicized, service it provides: a cadet program for high school and college students who are interested in learning more about law enforcement.

This well-organized program meets regularly throughout the year, staffed by dedicated volunteer deputies and officers. It promotes discipline, values, respect, confidence and self-esteem for the students – all at no charge to them or the community.

An important bonus is the brotherhood fostered between the cadets, and the friendships with the members of the Sheriff’s Office, who become role models for how these young men and women want to grow up – whether or not they eventually decide to pursue a career in law enforcement.

I am very grateful to Sheriff Smith and her caring staff for all they do, including their dedication and generosity in giving their time and skills to help our children achieve their maximum potential.

Michael Rappaport

Los Altos

Local trees have ‘skin-diseased’ look

Has it occurred to anyone else that all of those tiny “points of light” that are wrapped around the trunks of local trees every year and, in some cases, all year long, give the trees a “skin-diseased” look as opposed to enhancing the natural beauty of the tree? Perhaps it is time to turn the page.

Josephine Campbell

Los Altos

Bullying starts with the parents

Concerning the problem of racial bullying at San Jose State University that recently made headlines, put the blame were it belongs.

Children are born with a clean slate regarding opinions and beliefs.

Their values are nurtured by what they are taught at home, from friends and at school.

These young men who bullied their black roommate were taught intolerance or they never would have done such horrible things.

Their parents are to blame and should pay restitution to the victim.

I think a fair fine would be $25,000-$50,000 per family. This would cover the victim’s college education, graduate school and perhaps law school if he wants to learn how to sue them.

Furthermore, these young men should be permanently barred from ever attending a California public institution: all UCs, CSUs and community colleges.

Why should my taxes help educate these ignorant, racially intolerant bullies? Their parents can send them to private schools, where perhaps they will learn something about respecting the rights of others. I was taught that in kindergarten in the Bronx a very long time ago.

Myra Orta

Los Altos

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