Let Them Have Dreams
When Social Advocates for Youth's proposal for a Dream Center met with some neighborhood opposition ("Dreams On Hold," Nov. 20), they had a unique response: they opened the doors of their existing residential facility, Tamayo Village, to all who had questions or concerns about their ability to manage such a project.
A series of free, open dinners at Tamayo Village were set up by volunteers, and all were welcomed The evening I attended, I heard powerful poetry from a phenomenal young man, and stories from other youth that broke my heart. I witnessed the bonds of support these young adults formed with each other, and met dedicated volunteers who were committed to empowering them to make healthy choices. I also heard from a Bennett Valley neighbor who had previously opposed the Dream Center, but left with her opinion transformed.
I encourage everyone to check out SAY's 'frequently asked questions' page on their Dream Center web page. It will likely clear up confusion over misleading statistics disseminated by those opposed to this project.
My hope is that our community will come together to help create an effective, supportive, responsible and safe Dream Center for all who need it.
Disrupting the Ecosystem
Thanks for the informative cover story by Alastair Bland on the proposal by Fish and Wildlife Service to apply poison to our local Farallon Islands ("Mice Capades," Jan. 8). A follow-up would be useful, to further disclose the nasty multigeneration side effects of the kinds of very controversial poison compounds being proposed for broadcast here.
The inhumane slow death by which this broad-spectrum poison kills the targeted species is well established. The dirty little secret behind this plan is that in spite of generally ineffective efforts to scare nontarget animals away, a range of predators higher up the food chain will inevitably feed on the dying mice and on the persistent poison pellets and also die, in a phenomenon dismissively called "bykill." This controversial brodifacoum poison, in particular, can also damage future generations of exposed nontarget animals that fail to succumb, thereby likely interfering with the ongoing biological viability of important wildlife populations within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
However well-intended poisoning on this scale here may be—and however financially profitable for certain groups—this is unfortunately the wrong precedent to set for management of our national ocean treasures, not only on the California coast, but throughout the U.S. Marine Sanctuary system. Target the mice, not the whole ecosystem.
Vice-chair, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, Bodega Bay
We're the GOP
The war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the war on drugs—each of them ill-conceived, unwinnable and not only a failure but counterproductive, a tragic misuse of good money and good lives. Yet the party chiefly responsible for launching all three of these disasters, the party that now wants to cut back on food stamps and unemployment benefits, is happy to go on throwing $2 billion-plus a week down the war hole. And who profits by this? No mystery there.
CeCe McDonald's plight is evidence again that our criminal justice system must be reformed. Most people would find it unthinkable that a woman would be imprisoned in a jail for men. As our report "Injustice at Every Turn" shows, trans-women of color such as CeCe face shocking levels of physical violence and discrimination by the police, the courts and the prison system. The truth is CeCe McDonald shouldn't have spent any time behind bars in the face of racist, homophobic and transphobic slurs and the physical attack on her. Her story should be a wake-up call for our nation.
Deputy executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
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