Letters to the Editor for Jan 28, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
C.V. ROAD BATTER
I’ll try one last time on this arcane subject (“Traffic Jam,” Squid Fry, Jan. 21-27) using a baseball analogy, since I coach girls softball. Let’s say you wanted to evaluate what kind of hitter Eric Chavez is (my daughter’s favorite player). You could do it one of two ways:
Take Chavez’s stats in recent years and use those as a baseline for evaluating his performance this season. Or develop a model of all players in Major League Baseball of Chavez’s height (within two inches), weight (within 10 pounds), age (within 3 years), bench press number (within 10 pounds) and body fat index (within 5 percent). Take the players that fit those criteria – say there are 30 players in all – and then average their batting average, homers, RBIs, stolen bases, etc., over the past three years. Then take those averages and use them as a baseline to evaluate Chavez’s performance this season.
Which baseline makes the most sense in terms of determining what kind of a season Chavez is having? Isn’t Number One the obvious choice?
This is the debate we had with Public Works. We say, let’s use actual data for Carmel Valley Road as a baseline to judge future increases in traffic, since we have more than 10 years worth of hard data (ADT). PW says, no, we should use a model put together from roads in Michigan and Florida as a baseline for evaluating traffic on C.V. Road. Why? Because they don’t want to do the tiny bit of extra work to apply actual C.V. Road data, and prefer a one-size-fits-all approach. Which, as Squid points out, is much more permissive of more traffic on Carmel Valley Road. --Glenn Robinson | Carmel Valley
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama called on the U.S. Conference of Mayors to help her fight the national scourge of childhood obesity. She noted that one-third of all children are overweight or obese. She proposed healthier school lunch fares, increased physical activity, and nutrition education.
Traditionally, the National School Lunch Program has served as a dumping ground for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, USDA’s own surveys indicate that 90 percent of American children consume excessive amounts of fat, and only 15 percent eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
In the past few years, several state legislatures have asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options. According to the School Nutrition Association, 52 percent of U.S. school districts now do.
Parents and others who care about our children’s health should demand healthful plant-based school meals, snacks and vending machine items. Additional information is available at schoolnutrition.org, schoolmeals.nal.usda.gov, healthyschoollunches.org, and choiceusa.net. --Mitchel Corbett | Monterey