Two recent stories led to this letter: In early January there was an excellent review of 2020's challenges, providing thoughtful perspectives for us all and focusing on Menlo Park's resiliency ("2020: A difficult year that showcased Menlo Park's resilience," Jan. 1). On Jan. 29 there was an explanation of San Mateo County's relief fund for restaurants, which is now receiving applications for grants ("San Mateo County creates 'financial lifeline' for eateries").
In a crisis like this pandemic, the challenges are so complicated that they can be overwhelming. Our leaders in the community are responding as best as they can with relief programs, in order to help people feed their families and pay their rent.
The press has a big role in publicizing these various relief programs which are available. Thank you for your efforts to help people find solutions to their families' day-to-day challenges.
Another group that is helping to publicize solutions are our cities' chambers of commerce. In collaboration with elected officials countywide, they are helping to organize and publicize all of the relief services to individuals and employers so they can keep their heads above water.
Those programs include food delivery to families in need, rent relief and eviction protection, child care resources, health services, housing and utilities assistance, financial relief and resources to help small businesses, and publicizing volunteer opportunities and ways to donate to these various efforts.
The impact of COVID on wage earning, paying the rent, and feeding our families has been staggering. It is important to remember that the small businesses in our town employ so many people, providing the paychecks which keep families going. These small businesses are scrambling to stay afloat and bring back their employees, so that everyone can return to earning their living.
Thank you to all The Almanac staff for working hard to publicize the solutions which will help families, seniors, and employers to successfully get past this pandemic.
Menalto Avenue, Menlo Park
Becker's call to reopen schools
While I disagree with several of state Sen. Becker's assertions, application of sketchy statistics, and use of the tropes "recent studies" and "common sense," I am confused by his worry about students' "...mental health, social isolation ... emotional costs..." ("State Sen. Josh Becker calls for San Mateo County schools to reopen," Feb. 26). For years, I have witnessed teens everywhere sitting in groups not socially involved but glued to their phones while not engaging in verbal discussions. The "studies" I have seen refer to this phenomenon as destructive of the very concerns he raises. Last, perhaps in school districts with hefty financial resources, those officials are able to purchase the wherewithal to allow schools to become more safe; what does he propose to do to aid those school districts that are not able to afford his recommendations?
Placitas Avenue, Menlo Park
Violence begets violence
I am very disappointed that President Joe Biden, who ran on ending wars and not escalating conflicts in the Middle East, authorized a round of airstrikes in Syria last week. The bombed facilities were used by Iran backed militia, but such a raid is not going to accomplish anything, especially if we want to restart nuclear talks with Iran. Where is diplomacy? Why didn't Biden ask Congress for permission for such a strike? What are the consequences for such actions? The public should be outraged. I am worried that Biden's national security team is using force when they could be using other means. Time and time again, history has shown that violence begets violence.
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