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Dear Editor:

Imagine for a moment that you are an elementary student being bullied by a classmate . . .or a middle school student experiencing test anxiety . . . or a high school senior worried about graduation requirements. To whom might you turn for support and guidance? Your school counselor.

Without seeing the important work these individuals do every day and how they support our youth, we often forget to extend our thanks. School counseling programs are collaborative efforts benefiting students, parents, teachers, administrators and the overall community. Comprehensive school counseling programs are an integral part of students’ daily educational environment. Not only do school counselors strive to “leave no child behind,” but more so, counselors encourage every child to soar toward success. We are fortunate that in our community, school counselors are highly skilled in problem solving, facilitating self-understanding, and coordinating services for students in need.

On behalf of Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy and the Dignity Memorial® network we wish to recognize National School Counseling Week this month and the valuable contributions made by school counselors. We respect the active commitment of school counselors to help students explore their abilities, discover their interests and reach their full potential.

Please join us in extending your appreciation for the service school counselors render in our community.

With Respect,

Jeffrey W. Baker, Santa Monica

Dear Editor,

In a Letter to the Editor, 2/18/2010, a writer complains that he was ticketed for riding his bicycle on a Santa Monica sidewalk. But Santa Monica is to be congratulated for enforcing Statute 3.12.540. A 1996 University of Washington study concluded “sidewalks are extremely dangerous places to ride.” Even well trained bicyclists averaging 2900 miles cycled yearly experienced 16 times as many collisions per mile travelled on sidewalks in comparison to riding on streets.

The State of California advises against bicycle use on sidewalks, but allows local jurisdictions to have the final say. The League of American Bicyclists, advocating for cyclists continuously since 1880, has for many decades encouraged its members and the public never to ride on sidewalks.

I agree with the sentiments of the writer that bicycling on 4th Street, Wilshire and Lincoln Boulevards can be problematic. Some suggestions: Obey all traffic laws meticulously, including signaling and making eye contact with drivers when making a turn or changing lanes. Since bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles on the streets and roads of California, learn to share the road with vehicles. Place a rear view mirror on your helmet. If you see a motorist about to pass you without the legally mandated three foot clearance, turn your head and make eye contact to let him know you are aware of his presence and his responsibilities. Most drivers so alerted will slow down behind you, or increase clearance to pass; but if not, you can signal that you are moving to the center of the lane until you can again cycle safely closer to the curb. Bicycle with the Los Angeles Wheelmen to learn techniques of safe cycling. Work with the City of Santa Monica to emulate the highly successful bicycling programs of Davis, California and Portland, Oregon.

John J. Kuiper, Los Angeles

Dear Reader,

Last week, in our Letters To The Editor section, we ran an a submission from Michael Mazor, a concerned citizen expressing frustration about a citation he received while riding his bike on the sidewalk in Santa Monica. In this letter, Mazor said, “I’ve made several attempts to reach the council myself, but so far, I’ve yet to receive a response.”

This was a factual error, brought to our attention by Councilmember Kevin McKeown, who responded to Mazor’s messages to the Council prior to his Letter to the Editor publication. Additionally, McKeown added the Mirror to the distribution list on those messages, dated as far back as January 18.

This week, Mazor wrote the Editor and apologized for his mistake. We at the Mirror would also like to apologize to the readers and McKeown for our lapse of oversight.


Christopher Rosacker, Editor

in Uncategorized
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