Remembering those who died

My flag still waves high and another Memorial Day has passed.

I watched the pomp and listened to honors given the men of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard who lost their lives winning the fight over tyranny during World War II.

However, I heard no mention of those without whom all those mentioned above would not have had anything with which to fight -- the merchant seamen. None of these seamen were carried off a plane in a flag-covered casket as bands played, cannons boomed, rifles fired and taps played.

They're lying at the bottom of the sea on which they sailed to bring supplies and the ugly tools of war into battle. We often hear references to "Rosie the Riveter," but never a word about those who lost their lives sailing the ships Rosie helped build.

Except for the Marines, more of these seafaring men were lost per capita than any other branch of the service.

Now that the long weekend of celebration is over, it would be nice if today, the original Memorial Day, some of us would devote a moment to those brave men in their watery graves still giving a thumbs-up to the ships passing overhead.

Maybe one day these forgotten veterans will be included in the accolades given all the others on the many occasions brave fighting men are showered with their much-deserved praise.

David Garcia

Bethel Island

Vote yes on Measure A

I encourage all voters in Hercules to vote yes on Measure A in Tuesday's election.

Measure A will help restore financial stability to Hercules and maintain essential city services. Most important, passing Measure A will prevent the city of Hercules from dissolving our police force and having to rely on the sheriff.

Let's face it, Hercules is surrounded by several poorer, unincorporated areas. If we do not maintain our own city police force, then criminals from those areas are more likely to prey on Hercules homes and businesses.

Even the perception that we might have fewer police on duty will invite more crime into Hercules. Don't let this happen.

Chris Kelley

Hercules

Thomas Sowell is a dishonest bully

This responds to Thomas Sowell's May 24 column, "Summer is the time to undo the brainwashing."

Although California state standards are posted at www.cde.ca.gov, Sowell continually fabricates his own in his crusade to demonize teachers and public education. He does so to make himself look good, but he's looking in a distorted mirror.

His propaganda is offensive and demoralizing to teachers who, like myself, get slapped in the face with his trash talk and regularly hear versions of it echoed by the public.

Sowell expects teachers to not teach state standards, not foster respect for differences, and not promote teamwork and problem-solving. Why do our future citizens need to think critically, respect one another, or work collaboratively?

In his column, Sowell went rogue about teachers "brainwashing" students. Is my rule, "No paper airplanes will be made or thrown in class because someone might get poked in the eye," really my code for gun control?

Sowell's bullying and dishonesty are bad choices. My agenda is for students to master state standards, learn respect and teamwork, and develop their critical thinking.

Lisa Nunez

Walnut Creek

Chevron often gets bad rap

I wish to once again thank Chevron Richmond for funding grant assistance to the West Contra Costa School District to shape the district's five-year strategic plan, which includes improving the schools curriculum.

Historically, Chevron has funded numerous grants beneficial to the school district and Bay Area communities. The Times seems to report happenings at Chevron with less-than-favorable articles. I feel more balance is needed.

This brings to mind the adage: "Don't bite the hand that feeds us."

Patrick Halligan

El Cerrito

Berkeley police should use Tasers

As a long-time resident of Berkeley, I have been happy with the way our police handle crimes. So I was surprised and disappointed to learn that the Berkeley Police Department cannot use Tasers, when most of the other California police departments do so effectively.

More criminals are carrying knives and guns, and our police officers are forced to use firearms to protect themselves and the public. While I have never personally come in contact with a Taser, it seems to me that there would be fewer injuries involved and our officers would not have to use their guns if they had access to Tasers.

Tasers can temporarily incapacitate a criminal so that he or she can be quickly apprehended. I support Berkeley considering the use of Tasers as an alternative to force.

Maureen Farrell

Berkeley