Teacher in abuse case was good tutor for son

I was a bit stung by the headline in a recent Sunday Times front-page article, "Tenure shields a bad teacher," referring to Dina Holder.

When my son fell behind in reading in the early 1990s, I employed Holder, who was highly recommended, to be his tutor in her home. She was warm, kind and down to earth. My son flourished and, at the start of second grade, went from kindergarten reading level to the third-grade level under her tutelage.

I wasn't present during these sessions, at her request, and my son was always relaxed and happy when I picked him up. When I told my now 29-year-old son about Holder's situation, he was as shocked as I was.

The point is that Dina Holder was a good teacher.

Mary Morris

Oakley

Gun buybacks one way to get rid of firearms

In this scary atmosphere of guns in the hands of so many civilians and so easily accessible, I favor gun "turn-ins."

For those who regret having a weapon, they may surrender it to a police station. Also, the county sheriff's office accepts guns at 1980 Muir Road in Martinez; first call dispatch at 925-646-2441 to make arrangements. Also, watch for gun buyback programs.

The NRA leader cites Second Amendment rights for gun ownership. I'd like to see this amendment amended to reflect present-day reality. We don't need an assault weapon and magazines with dozens of rounds to protect ourselves in our homes.

Years ago, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Kensington had a gun-plow project. Dismantled weapons were thrown into a pit and buried under concrete, over which was erected a gun-plow sculpture, harking back to the biblical phrase: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares ... neither shall they learn war anymore."

This handsome monument, "Guns into Plowshares" sits peacefully atop a small hill on church property. There's a plaque, a short path leading up to the site, wildflowers in season and a bench conducive to reflection.

Claire J. Baker

Pinole

Nurse needs to face reality, get a flu shot

This is regarding your Jan. 28 front-page article, "Get a flu shot or wear this mask," about county mandates that health care workers be vaccinated against the flu.

Kristina Suzuki, a registered nurse at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, declined the flu shot and doesn't like being told what to do.

What planet gave Suzuki her nursing certificate? Does she not follow directions to wear a mask in surgery, scrub before surgery, carry out certain procedures in medical emergencies?

She needs to lighten up, face reality and get the flu shot to protect herself and me.

John L. VanLandingham

Concord

We mustn't chip away at our Constitution

I've read several articles and letters to editor in the Times suggesting the Second Amendment to the Constitution is outdated.

I wish to remind our citizens that the Founding Fathers were not frivolous with their thinking, which was based on history and the knowledge that man and government are easily corrupted.

We must always be vigilant to protect the rights that are ours against those who would take away what our Constitution grants us.

Our Constitution is a precious jewel. It is evident some would chip away at the brilliance of our precious jewel.

These chiselers have no right to undertake such a task.

Alexander Montalvo

Bethel Island

Sowell presents a side that's needed in media

We need two parties in our government to assure checks and balances so that legislation is balanced and represents most citizens.

Nationally, President Barack Obama pretends to consider the conservative perspective, but instead refuses compromise by aggressively pursuing an economic and social agenda that's destroying the fiscal health and values of our great nation. He is partisan in the extreme.

Locally, one-sided media negatively influence people and do not allow for a fuller, thoughtful and more robust evaluation of the issues.

Thomas Sowell's column provides information and analysis that is intriguing and enlightening. Whether you agree or not, presenting the other side of issues is important for a free and open review of the facts.

Patti Pelosi

Concord