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April 11-17, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Local Schools And E-waste

I wanted to commend you on your cover story on electronic waste ("Toxic Trash," March 21), which was very well done. However, I think you could have offered your readers a more balanced story.

It is true, your article provided an eye-opening education about the electronic waste problem in our nation. It's alarming how some people, driven by greed, can justify making a buck by passing on our electronic discards to Third World countries. And they are getting away with it! Your story has created a more educated reader, for that I applaud you! Unfortunately, your story falls short of mentioning the good and honest recyclers in our area, and what they do to help our schools and churches raise money. Please don't leave your readers feeling fearful of recycling E-waste! Please tell them about avenues that guarantee they are doing the responsible thing for our earth while they help the children.

ASL is a company in San Jose that is a State Authorized Recycler. This company completely dismantles everything they collect at their plant. Nothing leaves the ASL dock that can be shipped off to a Third World country for disassembly. As a public school, we love ASL because it works with small nonprofit organizations such as ours to provide fundraising events all over the Bay Area. ASL raised more than $70,000 last month for nonprofits! Schools and churches agree to provide their parking lot as an E-waste collection site and to advertise in their neighborhood. People in the area are encouraged to bring by all of their E-waste. Nonprofits then get paid by the amount and type of E-waste that is brought to their parking lot on the day of their fundraiser. California has strict requirements for recyclers, and ASL follows all environmental regulations when they pick up the waste from the nonprofit and as they dismantle it. For your information, ASL offers plant tours to help educate the general public. Go see them! Thank you for taking the time to leave your readers with a solution for their E-waste, along with spotlighting the problems.

At our school, our ASL fundraisers have bought media projectors for the classroom and funded science camp for fifth grade. We know that we are helping our environment at the same time. Our school is more than 40 percent free and reduced lunch, so there is not a lot of spare money for extras, but our parents all know someone with a dead computer in their garage that they would like to get rid of safely in an "earth-friendly" way and help their local school at the same time.

Gayle Calhoun, Principal, Northwood School, San Jose

The Money We Don't Have

Re: "Don't Call It a Comeback" (MetroNews, March 21). I am in total agreement with this article on the state of the economy. We own a small restaurant in Mountain View. Our business has been very slow, particularly in the last three months—30 percent down slow. All the other small businesses in our area are hurting, too. We don't know why people think the economy is so great. Take a look at the number of cars on the street at night. Take a look in the restaurants at night. Where is everyone? At home trying not to spend the money they don't have, that's where.

Linda Michel, San Jose

Last of The Independents

Thank you for your article regarding "Feinstein Resigns" (MetroNews, March 21). We do not see this type of investigative reporting much anymore.

The press needs to keep the politicians accountable. If they do not, we will continue to lose our freedoms.

Scott Thompson, Olathe, KS

Throw 'Em Out

Thank you for your detailed investigative reporting on Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum. This is nothing short of a scandal that Congress and the Justice Department should further investigate. They should all be thrown out of office with Ms. Feinstein if they don't.

I appreciate Mr. Byrne's work to uncover the deceitful and dishonest behavior of Sen. Feinstein. He is to be commended.

I can't imagine a more clear example of a conflict of interest. It paints another sorry picture of government corruption. The silence from the other senators speaks a very suspicious silence. And the silence of the mainstream media indicates a compliant media that refuses to ask any honest questions of their national leaders. Where are all the watchdogs? Where are the accusations of the Old Girls and Old Boys Club on Capitol Hill? Is it that hard for rats to smell a rat?

To imagine Sen. Feinstein as regulating anyone's ethical conduct is a most laughable farce. She's neck deep in her own use of her MILCON committee votes to profit her husband's companies ... and her own retirement account.

Bill Somervell, San Diego

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