One way or another
Local noncitizen voting is a delicate issue that touches many emotional and patriotic nerves (“Nobody left behind,” Sept. 15).
 
On the one hand, noncitizens can be sacrificed at the front lines of the wars for this country but can’t choose their representative on the school board? At the end of the debate, any reasonable mind would acknowledge the benefits of allowing the people being served locally to have a stronger, at least equal voice, to those serving them. 
 
If the community sees Latino kids as such a burden, what would the Pasadena Unified School District do without them? Latino kids bring into PUSD over $100 million per year, yet PUSD Board President Renatta Cooper worries that “we already don’t get enough support from the community …. when we talk about who our students are!”
Her statement last week is laced with racism and her ability to lead the PUSD Board of Education should be questioned.
 
The ultimate vote for noncitizen parents is and will be when they choose to place their child at a nontraditional public school that will serve their needs. Free public charter schools utilize greater flexibility by hiring based on student need and not whoever is “next in line.”
 
We must stop the practice of seeing some students as merely resource generators. Students are not here to provide jobs. Jobs are provided to service the students! 
 
Teacher union rules will need to change to better meet the needs of students. Seniority lists might have worked in the past, but people are finally seeing how this hurts our ability to serve kids. 
 
We must question why we have leaders in this community that are only interested in the ADA (Average Daily Attendance) of the public schools, which determines funding, but frown when confronted to account to those same people.
 
Those in power clearly have the formula to stay in power by guaranteeing jobs through union support, irrespective of performance or desire to serve its clients. Giving parents a stronger voice will make the system more accountable.
We must question why the District Attorney’s Office is used to intimidate families into attending school but ignore the parent concerns relating to safety issues, appropriately placed teachers and inability to meet students where they are at. 
 
One third of the advocates that could enhance and make the public schools more accountable are invested in the private schools. Many don’t even vote for the school board. These elections are not even held in November, when there is a higher turn out! It’s clear that those in power would like to keep it that way.
 
There is a gaping hole for someone to come in and serve these kids. Trust me, eventually someone will.
~GERMAN BARRERO, PASADENA
 

FROM THE WEB:
Re: “Dirty deeds,” Sept. 1
Much of the evidence shows the West Memphis 3 were guilty of the crimes they were found guilty of the first time and pled guilty to the second time.
 
The evidence against Baldwin was the weakest of the three. That is why he held out as long as he did. The other two may have been convicted again, so they accepted the deal quickly.
 
The Arkansas DA did the best he could. He was facing an OJ-type defense, and the case would have cost the state millions of dollars with old evidence and missing witnesses. If he lost, the state would have faced lawsuits.
 
The “animal predation” was found by “experts” hired by the defense. It is possible that they may have been influenced by the fact they were paid for by the defense. And the theory of snapping turtles targeting one’s genitals does not sound realistic.
 
The DNA evidence proves little. The bodies were found in a bog. A hair was found from the stepfather of one of the boys. This could have gotten on the boy in other ways.
 
The reality is there are no other legit suspects. The WM3 supporters repeatedly try to blame others with little or no evidence.
 
The three had no alibis. Misskelley confessed three separate times. Baldwin told someone else he committed the crimes. Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the crime scene. He bragged about the murder to two other teenagers, stating he killed the three boys. This was presented as evidence at the trial. Echols also had a history of psychiatric treatment. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood.
 
Fibers on the murdered victims’ clothing were found to be microscopically similar to things in the Baldwin and Echols homes. The serrated wound patterns on the three victims were consistent with, and could have been caused by, a knife found in a lake behind appellant Baldwin’s parents’ residence.
 
Echols stated under cross-examination that he was interested in the occult. A funeral register was found in his room with hand-drawn pentagrams and upside-down crosses. Echols’ journal contained morbid images and references to dead children.  
~SANFRANMAN2
 

Most law enforcement agencies (especially in the former domain of Dixieland), once they target somebody for conviction, usually won’t look for any other perps for the mere fact that “still looking for the possible guilty” could be used by any competent defense council to suggest innocence.
 
The DA in this case wanted a quick resolution much more than he wanted to discover any “beyond-a-reasonable-doubt” perpetrator.
 
Sanfranman2, it’s not quite as cut-n-dried as you suggest. 
~DAND
 

Re: “Art for everyone’s sake,” 
Aug. 25
The grants from Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission are very beneficial to a large area. It is a really wonderful program to help the art programs development in the Pasadena area.
 
All these art and cultural organizations that received grants from the commission and other foundations are well deserved. They work very hard to serve the community. I wouldn’t say they are any less important than your organization.
 
The Pasadena Museum of California Art is merely under 10 years old. I wouldn’t classify them as a “long-established group.”
 
This is such a hard sell for the Northwest Education Center. Dislike.
~PASADENA73