Letters: Assembly bill is appropriate reaction 

“Comment and critique need distinguishing,” In My View, Sunday

Assembly bill is appropriate reaction

Last week, the Assembly Higher Education Committee unanimously approved Assembly Bill 404. The legislation facilitates greater communication between the California Community Colleges and the U.S.

Department of Education on the recognition process of accrediting agencies. Democrats and Republicans praised the bill for its focus on transparency and improved intergovernmental communication.

Steven Kinsella’s op-ed criticizing the bill fails to address a significant question. If the current mechanism for commenting to the U.S. Department of Education on the performance of the regional accreditor is sufficient, why have so many community college personnel expressed frustration by this process, which lacks confidentiality and can lead to retaliation on the part of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges?

Until this question is answered, I’d say AB 404 offers an appropriate solution.

Jonathan Lightman

Faculty Association of California Community Colleges

Animal foods ought to be replaced like other nonsustainable resources Time to change our diets

Just in time for the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has made it official:

Consumption of animal products is not environmentally sustainable. Their conclusions match those of a massive 2010 United Nations report, which concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and climate change.

Carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate farm machinery, trucks, refrigeration equipment, factory farms and slaughterhouses. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools.

Moreover, animal agriculture contributes more pollutants to our waterways than other human activities combined. Principal sources are animal wastes, soil particles, minerals, crop debris, fertilizers and pesticides from feed croplands.

It is also the driving force in worldwide deforestation and wildlife habitat destruction.

In an environmentally sustainable world — just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other sustainable energy sources — animal foods must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains.

Our next trip to the supermarket is a great starting point.

Sutter Freeman

San Francisco

“Dedicated to a life of foster care,” The City, April 12

Thanks for the good news

I was delighted to find some good news in this Sunday’s San Francisco Examiner.

The article about Dione Mason, who was in foster care as a child and who is now fostering children, made my heart sing.

And Joel Engardio’s piece on architect Eugene Lee’s ideas for housing in San Francisco is a positive contribution. I hope Mr. Lee’s ideas get a hearing at City Hall.

It’s rare to find good news these days, but it’s there if you look for it. Apparently, you have some reporters who do just that.

Wendy Beck

San Francisco

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