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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Woodland Hills

Rep. Sherman Discusses Kosovo at Pierce College

April 02, 1999|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

Rep. Brad Sherman paid a visit Thursday to Pierce College, where he answered students' questions on the crisis in Kosovo. About 100 students gathered at the Campus Center to hear what the congressman had to say.

Student Nathaniel Shulman asked Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) if U.S. aid to Russia could be affected by Russia's limited involvement in the Kosovo crisis. Sherman said he did not foresee any effect because Russia had not provided arms to the combatants.

Sherman also reminded the audience that Serbian control of Bosnia was a trigger for World War I. "The beginning of this century and the end of this century focus on the same question," he said.

Although students remained interested in Kosovo, Sherman said there are wars in other places, such as Sudan, that are no longer getting the world's attention.

"We would like to live in a world where there is peace and justice everywhere," Sherman said. "In fact, we live in a world where there is brutality and mass murder."

U.S. troops "are not going to be able to go everywhere," he added.

When asked what the role of community colleges should be, Sherman told the students that by going to college, they will earn higher salaries and provide the government with more tax dollars.

"We are providing some help," Sherman said. "This is the best investment the federal government is ever going to make. It's in the financial interest of the government to make going to college as attractive as possible."

Afterward, students said they were generally pleased with Sherman's straightforward approach.

"He didn't try to smoke over anything, which is unusual for a politician," said Samuel Boatwright, 35, of Chatsworth.

"It was very good timing because there are very serious issues at hand locally," added Sandra L. Rubio, 26, of Van Nuys.

Yet, Rubio was disappointed Sherman did not address the proposal to build a golf course on 240 acres of Pierce College property. "I feel it's his job to have informed us on the pros and cons," Rubio said.

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