Neighborhood school model the right choice 

The San Francisco Unified School District’s move to give proximity more weight in school assignments is a move in the right direction, but it’s not enough — San Francisco should move to a true neighborhood schools model.

Too many families have “opted out” of San Francisco’s public schools, either moving out of The City when their children reach school age, or choosing private schools. A neighborhood school system would give parents greater certainty in the assignment process, and help coax more families back into the public school system.

Local schools would also promote a sense of community in our neighborhoods, and more kids walking to school would reduce San Francisco’s carbon footprint.

Mike Sullivan
San Francisco

EPA following court rules

Your March 7 editorial, “Obama’s destructive environmental agenda,” left out some relevant information on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate greenhouse gases. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by autos, which contribute to air pollution that might endanger public health or welfare.

More than two years ago, the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases clearly fit the Clean Air Act’s definition of pollutants, so the EPA was compelled to either regulate them or explain why they did not need regulation. Therefore, the EPA is just doing what it was mandated to do by the Supreme Court.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

No liability in prison death

If a prisoner dies as a result of wrongdoing by the Sheriff’s Department, The City should apologize, try to make amends and punish those responsible. However, if that inmate causes his own demise, by his combativeness and state of health, and all procedures were properly followed — as the sheriff’s deputies alleged in Friday’s San Francisco Examiner story — then The City has no business giving away hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. This will simply invite additional baseless claims and put us even further in the hole.

Tim Donnelly
San Francisco

$900 toilet seat important

I wish editors nationwide would cease using the $900 Air Force toilet seat as an example of excessive military spending. This is a carbon-fiber composite seat meant to withstand the weight of a 200-pound man under 10 G’s, or 2,000 pounds. Or would you rather the co-pilot fall into the latrine if the pilot has to dodge a missile?

On the other hand, the handicapped-member ramp approved by the Board of Supervisors could be replaced with a simple mini-elevator at much lower cost.

Darge F. Arnan
San Francisco

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