Letters: Penney’s, orcas, teen pot use and more (2024)

No sale

Today I read with interest the article about J.C. Penney’s new approach to prices (“J.C. Penney hits switch,” Business, Feb. 7).

Theirs is not a price-reduction campaign; rather, it’s a price increase to cope with inflation.

I regularly shop at Penney’s for clothing. A shirt with a previous tag of $30 is now “everyday priced” at $25. However, when the shirt was MSRP’d at $30, it was almost always available at a lower price, anywhere from $18 to $12, depending on the season or the need to attract more shoppers.

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To me, everyday price implies that “this is the lowest price we can afford in order to make a reasonable profit, so don’t expect this item to go on sale.”

Ergo, a garment once available anywhere between $12 and $18 is now available for $25. That’s a price increase, not a price reduction. – Steve Eaton, Carlsbad

Orcas get day in court

In response to “Whales enslaved? Suit heard” (Local, Feb. 7): Is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is trying to convince us that whales are slaves? What’s next? Our pet dogs and cats? How about my child’s goldfish. Why not? After all, they are bought and sold. Dogs and cats are trained to do tricks. Fish are entertaining. And take a look at all the other animals that people have trained: lions, pigs, birds. How about the dancing bear?

Give me a break. The Constitution starts off “We the People … .” The last time I checked, people means hom*o sapiens. – Paul L. Binns, La Mesa

I’m glad the judge agreed to hear the arguments regarding the SeaWorld killer whales on the grounds that animals “held for amusem*nt” have certain protections from likely violent outcomes. Since the intended amusem*nt was not of a violent nature, such as co*ckfights, the court will probably acquit SeaWorld of the charges, but warn it that since the killer whale instinctively and routinely plays with its food before eating it, SeaWorld is dancing on thin ice to rehearse and perform shows that are very likely, at some point, to expose audiences to snuff performances – live. If SeaWorld chooses to ignore the inevitability of such an outcome, it will likely be facing criminal charges far more costly than a voluntary cutting of the killer whales. With freedom comes responsibility to pay the costs. – L. Patti Martin, Downtown San Diego

Before everyone goes off talking about how crazy PETA is empower whales with basic rights (“Judge weighs PETA whale slavery lawsuit,” utsandiego.com, Feb. 6), lets recall that not too long ago people thought that it was equally crazy to extend basic and humane rights to blacks and women!

Despite the fact that humans believe that everything is put on this planet for our amusem*nt and utility, wild creatures are living beings and most would chose not to be in captivity despite the lack of predators and regular feedings. People that believe this likely should be in prison where they can receive the same “privileges” that they claim that animals are so lucky to receive.

The argument that zoos and theme parks preserve species is partially true, however. If equal money was spent bribing and arming local governments to eliminate poaching and protecting habitats, far fewer species would need “protecting” and be free animals. – Dave Beard, San Diego

It is hoped that Judge Jeffrey Miller finds the orca “slave” 13th Amendment lawsuit a delusive fallacy.

Not only is the suit ludicrous, but it’s also a whale of juridical waste of time and court cost.

It is hoped that a breach of sanity does not result in a migration to the Supreme Court. – Harry Knorr, La Mesa

Warning signs on youth pot use missed

I fully support the opinions expressed in “Empowering cities to regulate marijuana retailers” (utsandiego.com, Feb. 2), and it’s time the county takes the California Healthy Kids survey to heart, admits its failure, roll up its sleeves and starts preventing teen pot use. What messages has county health delivered (strong or otherwise) regarding the proliferation of marijuana stores and retail sales in our community? None, as far as we can see. It is even more disturbing that the county officials have virtually ignored the near doubling of teen use among 17-year-olds while sitting on the sidelines on this issue.

Those of us in the community who have been working to stop the sale of marijuana in our communities and warning of increased access of drugs to our teens have been shocked that county health officials have chosen a laissez faire attitude. The California Healthy Kids survey is a sad indication that the county’s missing teen pot use prevention effort has resulted in more teen pot abuse and a decreasing perception of its harmfulness.

If the county is going to be in the business of public health it is time they stop bending to politics and pro-pot advocates and start leading and advocating for effective health policies regarding marijuana. Our teens (and adults) deserve clear, effective messages from the county that pot is harmful. If they can’t see clear to doing that, they should at least advocate for following federal laws, starting with prohibiting pot retail sales in the unincorporated areas. – Scott Chipman, San Diegans for Safe Neighborhoods

Three-year span between tests unwise

In response to “Test regularly for the presence of HPV” (Health, Feb. 7), on HPV testing and cervical cancer:

I felt that this was a very informative piece, but completely disagreed with the conclusion that if your Pap smear/HPV test is normal you only have to have a Pap smear every three years.

In a perfect, monogamous world, this statement might have some validity. Unfortunately, up to 85 percent of the sexually active population might carry this high risk HPV. Therefore, annual testing is still highly recommended.

Most patients equate a Pap smear with a pelvic exam, which can potentially detect ovarian cancer, etc. To perform this every three years is poor medical advice and benefits only the insurance company, definitely not the patient. – Steven Drosman, M.D., San Diego

Shrink to fit

In response to “Fewer school districts can be better” (Editorial, Feb. 6): The exact same rational as outlined in the editorial can be applied to water agencies in San Diego County. There are 24 water agencies in San Diego County. Having served on two water agency boards, previously with Padre Dam Municipal Water District and currently with Otay Water District, I also see opportunities for efficiencies through mergers.

It is understandable why there are 24 water agencies when you look at how the county developed over the last 100 years. Years ago, the county had far fewer people and development was spread out. If you needed water, out of necessity you had to form a water district to be able to build the infrastructure to get the water. Now with most water districts abutting one another, it is hard to rationalize the need for so many agencies.

As the editorial points out regarding consolidations/mergers, we could gain efficiencies by eliminating duplicate staffing positions. When looking at water agencies we can also benefit from bringing different water utility functions together. Some water agencies have potable (drinking) water treatment capabilities. Others have expertise in recycled water, while others have experience in sewage treatment. There are other opportunities, utilizing the latest technologies to help drive down costs, subcontracting out nonessential services, and the ability to purchase materials on a larger volume (cheaper) basis.

So yes, let’s take a serious look at consolidations of school districts, water districts and other governmental agencies. – Mark Robak, Spring Valley

Busing illustrates bigger problem

The current furor over the state budget cuts to school funding, including the announcement affecting funding for school busing programs, illuminate yet another basic flaw in our approach to the redistribution of our tax dollars. The idea that somehow the state should be involved in funding programs that have no benefit to anyone except local residents is a bad one on all levels.

Why does anyone think the most effective and efficient way to fund a local issue, like whether your kids are bused to school, is to send your money to Sacramento and then hope they decide to send it back to you? Even if they do choose to give it back, how could that possibly be the best way to get the maximum dollar to your schools. Do we not think that some portion of that money is going to get absorbed, by administrative or other costs, along the way?

If you want your school district to have funding to bus your kids to school, the answer is simple – give the money to them directly. Take the issue into your own hands, push your local government to either redistribute the money it has to allocate more to busing, or if you truly feel there is no money for that in your local school district’s budget, start campaigning to get a measure on your local ballot to fund it.

It’s your money, it affects your schools and your kids. Why does anyone feel we should send it to our state legislators and then beg to get it back? – Todd Maddison, Oceanside

Soured on ‘mother’s milk’

This is to spark some exchange of ideas about the commentary by T.J. Zane (“Free speech and the mother’s milk of politics” (Opinion, Feb. 2) and the news article by Mike McIntire of the New York Times News Service (“Obama will return campaign donation” (Campaign 2012, Feb. 7).

My view is that money should not be the mother’s milk of politics. I grew up in California in the 1960s when Jesse M. Unruh (the speaker of the California Assembly and later our state treasurer) pronounced in 1966 that “money is the mother’s milk of politics.” Should this be the way we conduct our political life when millions of people are out of work, our roads and infrastructure are in disrepair and our schools are in dire financial straits?

After President Obama’s Super Bowl interview, the TV news analysts concluded that the Obama presidential campaign would raise (and supposedly spend) close to a billion dollars on the re-election race. Super PACs will solicit and raise even more money in Congressional and local contests.

If Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission triggers a “free speech” right for corporations and labor unions to fund political campaigns without monetary limitations, what happened to the First Amendment doctrine that restricts one from shouting “fire” in a crowded theater? Free-speech rights are not absolute and political campaigns should be decided on the basis of ideas and issues not solely on the basis of money. – Edward C. Weiner, San Diego

Border chutzpah

In “U.S. deportations put a burden on Tijuana” (Feb. 5), Tijuana officials bemoan the deportation of Mexican undesirables who had obviously sneaked into the U.S.

The article summed up their problem: “… an unprecedented effort by the U.S. government to deport foreigners convicted of crimes is raising alarm in Tijuana.”

Do I cry, do I rage, or just shake my head at the chutzpah?

But let me try to understand it: Mexican officials are unhappy because we returned to them criminals and other undesirables who had first sneaked into this country through the undisputed connivance of the Mexican government. They seem to be saying, “We sent them to you on a one-way ticket. You weren’t expected to send them back. No fair.”

There are only two solutions to ease the woe of those officials. One, Mexico can decide to keep their criminals at home; or, two, the U.S. government in its wisdom can give them citizenship. Now, which do you think will happen first? – Fred Dickey, Cardiff

Are sabers rattling?

The Russian and Chinese veto of the United Nation measure on Syria (Feb. 5) means that Russia and China do not want the United States and Europe to interfere in Syria as they did Libya. If the United States and Eurpoe do interfere in Syria and continue to push revolutions in the Middle East, I believe Russia and China will defend Syrian skies from U.S. and European aircraft. Then the United States and Europe will have their noses bled for not minding their own business.

The United States and Europe were the big guys beating up on a little guy in Libya. Let’s see how the United States and Europe stand up against big guys if they are stupid and interfere with Syria, who has big brothers. – Harold Cohn, Santee

It’s just a number

In response to “Successful Aging Expo is Saturday and Sunday” (Health, Feb. 7): Please tell me what other kind there is, or could possibly be. If you do it, you are successful.

You may not be happy, or active, rich or healthy but then that is the case at any age.

Just sign me, “Triumphant Octogenarian.” – Patricia Sharp, Carlsbad

Letters: Penney’s, orcas, teen pot use and more (2024)
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