A good thing
Have you heard about Olli? I know at least a few hundred of our local citizens have because they are gathering at the Villa Chanticleer on Fitch Mountain, between three and five on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, to enjoy the adult courses being offered by Sonoma State University. Olli’s formal name is The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The people I have talked to who are enrolled are finding the lectures very energizing.
Currently, the courses being offered are: FDR at War with Chris O’Sullivan, PhD on Tuesday afternoons; 21st Century Brain, Allan Bernstein, MD, Wednesday; and Muses in Their Own Right, Kayleen Asbo, M.A. on Thursday. These initial offerings by Sonoma State University present a varied and stimulating choice of subjects for adults. You even get an attractive discount if you sign up for more than one course.
Having our own mini satellite campus should not be discounted. These lectures, designed for adults, are what you wished for when you were struggling for a degree. There are no tests; no required reading (but plenty of suggestions) and you are encouraged to interrupt with questions during the lecture. Being able to attend university courses right in my own backyard is a big plus in my book. It saves time, energy and gas and I get to say Hi to friends and acquaintances, all very good things. The current offerings will end in November. There will be new classes, of six weeks duration, offered for winter and spring. In the meantime you can get more information about auditing any of the three classes by calling 707-664-2612.
Speaking of good things, our right to vote and have a voice in our government is a good thing for which we have to thank our forefathers. But the number of propositions on our November ballot is mind-boggling. It is going to require careful reading and consideration to determine a yes or no vote especially on propositions that appear to have similar intent. I am referring to proposition 30 and 38. Both are supposedly going to fund education either by raising sales tax (Prop.30) or raising income tax (Prop 38). The one with the most votes takes effect. And therein lays a big difference. With Proposition 30, 89 percent of the tax increase would be used to fund k-12 schools and 11 percent would fund community colleges. If 30 fails 6 billion will be cut from the state education fund. If 38 wins, during the first four years 70 percent of the revenue goes to the schools and 30 percent goes to repaying the state debt.
Due to the ten state propositions and our local issues as well as determining choices for the city council all that homework we avoided with OLLI needs to be applied toward deciding how to vote.
Lucie Jensen is a Healdsburg resident.

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