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May 31, 2023

Letter: Youth support robotics and the environment

Enlightening how certain events, photos or occurrences can influence our thinking.  

The Free Lance (April21) front page demonstrated how Hollister High students engage with the robotics program to learn the mechanics of robots. This reminded me how much the same happened to my son who struggled to finish high school until he discovered the computer; this was occurring back at the birth of the internet. He sprinted from struggle to honors because computer language made sense to him.  

If robotics encourages a student to learn electronics plus physics and math there is no telling what a student can accomplish.

On the other hand, robotics can have a down side as portrayed with a chuckle the Joe Heller cartoon robot singing, “Anything you can do I can do better,” to the young job applicant. Along those lines, I hope the high school will be able to initiate a program to work on an important project like desalinating sea water which is undoable by the robot. Nothing would be more valuable than an abundant source of fresh water. I believe the current process is one of distillation. The problem is that high energy heat to distill uses energy in much the same as that which produces electricity burning fossil fuels.

Another interest capturing our young is that of our California indigenous or Amah Mutsun Tribe with the local environmental group. Find the youth in the front page Free Lance of April 28; a wider lens would capture more. 

This matter concerns a lawsuit brought by the Amah Mutsun indigenous Indian tribe against San Benito County. The judge combined two lawsuits of which the other is one brought by the environmental group against the county. Both concern the development at Betabel Road ignoring proper environmental impacts

The land where the Pacheco Creek meets the Pajaro River at Betabel is sacred ancestral land for the Amahs, and for the environmentalists is rich wildlife habitat teeming with abundant flora and fauna playing a vital role in maintaining clean air and water.

Although the Betabel Road project was rejected in 2020 according to the results of Measure K, the Betabel owners and developers never accepted defeat and tried again in 2022—running as Measure Q where this time the growth measure won.  

The lesson seems clear: both sides never give up! That is exactly what the Amahs and the environmentalists along with their young allies plan: never give up, continue dedication and never stop.  

Betabel owners see high stakes: develop the land, ignore climate change, make profit. 

Our young people see high stakes: loss of wildlife, unhealthy air, toxic water, forest fires, floods, uncertain jobs and basic uncomfortable and difficult living.  

Supporting our young seems to be the most logical behavior.

Mary Zanger



If robotics encourages a student to learn electronics plus physics and math there is no telling what a student can accomplish.

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