Sensitive to Light

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The author’s comment about Pick of the Litter—“it almost makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs, grab a stick and be led around the county by a highly trained Labrador”—is so incredibly insensitive, it’s almost beyond belief (“Five Easy Splices,” Nov. 7). I’m sure he thought it was a clever little joke, but it’s completely inappropriate. You think being blind is funny on any level? Yes, the puppies are cute and they’re actually gifts from heaven to the sightless, but that offhand remark is totally classless. The author should apologize for this lame attempt at humor.

Paul Gilbert, Via Pacificsun.com

Gimme Charter

Both my daughters attended, and graduated from, the Novato Charter School (“Midterm Exam,” Nov. 7). This is a public charter school, under the purview of the Novato Unified School District, and of course, the state. The director of 16 years, Rachael Bishop, and her vice-principal, Jeffrey Erkelens, ran the school with great circumspection and adherence to the rules laid out by both the district and the state. That said, the Novato Charter School never suffered controversy or had scandal stain its reputation and name. On the contrary, Bishop and Erkelens elevated Novato Charter to an award-winning school that served (and still does) as a model for how well charter public schools can operate and succeed. Novato Charter School is a jewel in the crown of the local school district in Novato.

Jonathan Derovan, Novato

Death Race 2018

Like most things in today’s world, it’s in with the new and out with the old. Driving is a good example of this. Have you noticed the changes? The “old” is formal driver’s training, which included parallel parking, that I undertook during my teen years in high school.

“New” is the lack of respect for rules of the road and unchecked driving skills. Of course the DMV has nothing to do with this but rather today’s “me first” culture is making the changes. Just look at the behavior of drivers today:

• The “Stop” and “Yield” signs are merely suggestions, and are to be ignored if no one is near.

• The posted number on a speed limit sign is optional; the driver’s attitude and personality determine the actual speed.

• “Caution” and “Slow” signs mean slow down, at least to the posted speed limit.

• Stopping before turning right on red is done only if it necessary.

• The far line of the crosswalk at an intersection is where the stop is made (if at all), and braking begins just before the near line. Looking left or right is optional, and people in the crosswalk shouldn’t be there.

• Traffic coming out of driveways has the right of way.

• Ignore any parking stall marked “Compact,” as long as the vehicle can get into the space. It doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle it is, and straddling the lines is the other driver’s problem.

• A high-end brand vehicle (and most SUVs) means that driving regulations don’t apply to this driver, so don’t expect any courtesy, but do expect to have your right of way violated.

• Changing lanes is done at will, and cutting off another driver is that driver’s misfortune.

• Signaling for a lane change or turning is done (if at all) at or after the action. Other drivers should not be given prior warning.

• Tailgating is a signal that the vehicle in front must move out of the way, no matter what the situation.

It seems that in order to survive, as I “share” the road, I have to learn how to drive all over again, per the list above. At this age, it’s going to be difficult, so cut me some slack as I take to the streets. Wish me luck.

Russ Young, San Rafael

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