Suicide-prevention hotline volunteers deserve thanks
Thank you to the Marin IJ for publishing Keri Brenner’s excellent article regarding the decreased number of suicides in Marin (“Report: Marin County suicide rate declines,” April 5). Even with the end of the pandemic now in sight, good news is always welcome, and it’s gratifying that the work of the many contributors to the suicide prevention awareness and education effort is paying off.
I’d like to add one element of Marin’s strategy that went unremarked upon: Buckelew Programs’ suicide-prevention hotline. The hotline’s selfless volunteers, under the extraordinary stewardship of Susan Acker, kept this critical resource fully staffed and operating even through the darkest days of lockdown, when few dared to even go outdoors.
At no point did the phones go unanswered, and the generosity and fortitude of this group of volunteer crisis counselors deserves much praise from the community, as does Buckelew Programs itself for providing this vital service. Reach the Marin County suicide-prevention hotline at 415-499-1100.
— Tim Lea, Fairfax
California should have learned from Florida
Florida schools opened in August of 2020. Yes, almost eight months ago. Students and school workers followed the science, wore masks, distanced themselves and used contact tracing for their success.
I wish Gov. Gavin Newsom had followed the science. For too long, Newsom wouldn’t push schools to reopen for fear that the California Teachers Association would pull support. The consequences of having schools closed so long are a catastrophe that could have been avoided had Newsom not caved to the union.
The governor will need good luck in the coming recall election.
— Patrick Luchtel, Novato
Ballpark rules are more strict than at restaurants
Let me try to understand this.
I can go to my favorite sports bar and restaurant, sit indoors, order up some sliders and beer and watch the Oakland A’s on TV. But if my wife and I want to go to the Oakland Coliseum to watch in person, we have to be socially distanced and wear a mask — despite being outdoors. If we want to go to a Giants game in San Francisco, we also need proof of vaccination or a recent test in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Might this be yet another edict passed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and “the French Laundry Committee”?
Good luck with that one, Major League Baseball.
I think I will be asking the waiter for another order of sliders and two beers.
— Bob Bowen, Tam Valley
Power of middle class will drive economic growth
The American Rescue Plan, aka the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, is one of the most progressive pieces of legislation in history and was passed by the Democratic congress.
It will change the course of the pandemic and deliver immediate relief for American workers; build a bridge to an equitable economic recovery and immediately reduce child poverty; invest about $160 billion to stop the spread of COVID-19 and distribute vaccines and provide $130 billion to help schools.
More than two thirds of its tax cuts and direct payments go to families making less than $90,000 per year.
It will give working families a $1,400 per-person check, even one to every adult child living at home; extend unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility; provide a $300 per week supplement; help Americans stay in their homes by providing emergency aid to cover back rent and increase the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
It will increase the child tax credit; increase the earned income tax credit for 17 million workers by as much as $1,000; expand child care assistance; give families an additional tax credit to help cut child care costs and provide an additional $1 billion for states for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families recipients.
The plan will lower or eliminate health insurance premiums for millions of families enrolled in health insurance marketplaces; provide emergency grants, lending and investment to hard-hit small businesses and distribute more than $360 billion in emergency funding for state, local and territorial entities.
It’s amazing that zero Republican members of Congress voted for the plan, even though it has broad bipartisan support among voters.
The American Rescue Plan says give cash to poor and middle class Americans and their purchasing power will drive growth for everyone. We think it’s worth celebrating.
— Deirdra Rogers and Maya Butterfield, Fairfax