Monday, April 23, 2007

The Bible as literature in local schools

Some people support introducing the Bible in English classes as required reading. They think it should be taught as a part of the Bible Literacy Project. The Project has created a text called, “The Bible and Its Influence,” which looks at the Bible within an historical context. Some of the project's supporters, like Chester Palesoo, who is a member of the Ravenswood City School Board in East Palo Alto, say that if the Bible is taught in the classroom, then students would be taught morals and such teachings would cut down on violence within the community

Others fear that bringing the Bible into the classroom would encourage some teachers to use it as part of a Christian agenda. Still others think the Bible as literature can be taught without a religious agenda behind it.

What do you think? Do you think the Bible should be taught as literature? Do you think, if the Bible is taught as literature, then the Holy Books from other religions should also be taught?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Will Imus' firing make a difference?

Talk show host Don Imus was denounced for his demeaning comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team and fired by CBS. Will his firing serve notice to others that sexist and racist statements will not be tolerated in the media?

Since his firing, more attention is being focused on rap artists for similar comments that they make? Should the public now express the same kind of outrage, that was expressed toward Imus, at music studios for producing and distributing lyrics that are just as insulting and demeaning to women, in general, and to black women, in particular?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Were you concerned?

Redwood City’s scrap yard fire Saturday sent a plume of smoke into the air that could be smelled up and down the Peninsula from Millbrae to South San Jose. A telephone alert sent out to 16,000 area residents from several city police and fire departments warned people who were susceptible to breathing problems to stay indoors until the smoke from the fire dissipated. Were you concerned by all of the smoke? Do you think more should have been done by local emergency services?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Friday Nights: " At the Movies"

Tonight it is Friday Nights: "At the Movies." Next Friday there will be a TV taping at the Media Center in Palo Alto called, "How to Get Out of the Game," which was a very popular workshop during the Teen Summit this past March.

The Friday night events are the idea of the Peace and Unity Coalition to give the youth in East Palo Alto something to do. Marina Latu, one of the Peace March organizers said that several students showed up at one of their coalition meetings with a suggested list of things that they would like to see for young people in the community. “We chose Friday nights,” Marina said, “because the youth said that there are a lot of programs during the day, but nothing on Friday nights. We, definitely, want to get the kids off of the streets.”

We think the Friday night events are a good idea. What do you think? Can you think of other events and activities that you would like to add for the youth in the community?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Would you like to be a community journalist?

Are you interested in writing? Would you like to attend meetings and submit a written or videotaped report? Do you take pictures of events in the community? If your answer is yes to any of the above, then we’d like to talk with you. East Palo Alto Today is interested in training and working with more community journalists.

You can be a community journalist if you have an idea for a story. For example, if there is an issue in your neighborhood, in a community organization or in your place of employment, and you’d like to see the idea written as an article in EPA Today, then contact us. You probably know of someone in the community who has a new job, is being promoted, celebrating a special birthday or a special anniversary. We’d like to hear about that, too.

There is even another option. You might know someone who may be interested in being a community journalist for the paper. It could be a relative or friend who takes pictures and has a good eye for capturing people and places. Ask them to send us their pictures. We’ll print them in East Palo Alto Today and/or put them on the newspaper’s web site. We’re even interested in people who have web skills and are looking for ways to donate their skills to help the community. So, think about it. You probably have much more to offer than you realize and we’d like to hear from you. Call us at (650)327-5846, ext.311 or contact us by email at

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The East Palo Alto City Council was not convinced

After submitting 1,200 petitions to the East Palo Alto City Council, members of Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), an East Palo Alto youth group, failed to convince the city council to allow community members to be a part of upcoming negotiations with the developers bringing a supermarket to the city.

YUCA wants to have residents sit in on the negotiations between city staff and the developers in order to obtain a Community Benefits Agreement from the developers. YUCA believes this agreement would provide residents with good paying job opportunities, affordable housing, youth programs and other services when the supermarket project was completed.

While the city council agreed with the concept of community benefits, council members said that there were enough existing structures in the city process through which the community could give input to the council. They also said that there were city regulations in place to support the type of benefits YUCA wanted from the developers. So given these reasons and similar ones, the East Palo Alto City Council said that it was not, at this time, in favor of changing the current city process to give residents a seat at the table during actual negotiations.

With whom do you agree? Do you support YUCA or do you agree with the city council?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Local immigration raids

Many people and organizations are expressing outrage over the wave of immigration raids taking place locally. Members of many families are being separated from each other. You can see from a recent video excerpt some of the problems the raids are creating and how some of the children in these families are being affected. To see the video excerpt, click on the second video picture on the left and watch the video play at the top of this column.

Do you know families affected by the raids? Do you think there should be changes in the way the raids are carried out and the way people are being deported from this country? Are you disturbed by what is taking place?