January 24-30, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

More Cuts At KTEH

You state in your story ("We Want the Airwaves," Cover Story, Jan. 17) that KTEH employees dropped from 60 to around 40. Well, you can subtract nearly a dozen more. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the Broadcast Engineers were told to come and pick up their paychecks, as their services were no longer required. These are the men and woman who were responsible for actually making sure the program or tape went on air. Some had been working at the station for over ten years. But due to the "merger" with KQED their skills are no longer needed, as now all program content is fed from San Francisco down to San Jose by fiber optic cable. This despite a million-dollar-plus renovation of the Master Control Area just a few years ago to bring it up to digital television standards.

Also your article did not fully explore the death of opportunity that KTEH once offered to the public in the way of using Tech volunteers. People of all ages who would train and volunteer for everything from running a camera to directing live television for Pledge and the KTEH auctions. This is truly the end of KTEH as a true San Jose station.

Yes, I can see why Tom Fanella did what he did and why. But sometimes progress just sucks.

Walter von Tagen III, San Jose

All Hail the Commonwealth Of Evergreen!

When I was a kid, my farmworker parents would pile my brothers and sisters into the car to go "house wishing in rich part of town." There is nothing more American than aspiring to live in the newest real estate.

But, Mr. Kvitek's words ("School House Rock," MetroNews, Jan. 3) imply that as an economic competition winner who lives in brand new Evergreen real estate and has his children attend the shining new high school on the hill, he is morally superior to the rest of us.

His attitude says "All Hail the Commonwealth of Evergreen!" and he is also demanding that the rest of us pay extra for the education of his children and to pay his mortgage. Nice try.

"Commonwealth" is defined as a compact or agreement of the people for the common good. The real "Commonwealth" is East Side Union High School District which was formed in the 1950s with the common-wealth (taxes) for a common good which still is to provide quality schools and quality education for all its students. The common-wealth, or taxes, is paid by every homeowner in the district from the Milpitas-Berryessa border in the north to the Santa Teresa-Morgan Hill border in the south of the commonwealth and our taxes never end because new students arrive to be educated every year. Quality school facilities in every neighborhood of the commonwealth insure the highest possible property value for me and every other taxpayer, not just his.

It sounds like Mr. Kvitek wants to build a border wall around his neighborhood and keep everyone out except the mailman who is delivering the common-wealth check to pay his bills. Sir, you can't be both, morally superior and demand welfare meant for the less fortunate.

The District did not qualify for significant state money for this newest school because there are plenty of empty seats in nearby schools which also have experienced teachers and send students to the most prestigious colleges every year. In any case, common-wealth taxes were provided to build your school. All commonwealths' taxpayers, a small part of whom live in Evergreen, still need to pay the $100,000,000 mortgage on the school. Mr. Kvitek claims the school board is reluctant to make decisions.

Kudos to Mr. Manuel Herrera and the other members of the District Board of Trustees who remember that they were elected for the common good; to provide quality school facilities and a quality education for all the 20,000-plus students of the commonwealth's 11 high schools.

Ramon J. Martinez, San Jose

Civil Discourse

One of your readers mentioned the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce (Letters, Nov. 29), but in doing so made an error. Wilberforce did not persuade the British Government to abolish slavery. Trading in slaves in England had been illegal since 1102 and ownership of slaves in Britain was made illegal in 1772.

What Wilberforce campaigned against was abolition of the slave trade, and of slavery in the British Empire outside Britain. Parliament finally passed Wilberforce's bill in 1807—basically they bought and freed the slaves—and subsequently imposed abolition of slavery on the other European powers at the Congress of Vienna in 1816.

As for any comparison between Wilberforce and the South in the U.S. Civil War, he was dead by 1833.

Jon Livesey, Sunnyvale

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