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January 2-9, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Sir, Do You Jest?

I BELIEVE a matter has come up which puts the brown apple moth spraying on the back shelf. Right now CalTrans tree crews are preparing to trim back black elm and alder limbs in the Plymouth Street neighborhood. Good grief, but don't they realize the sawdust from these trees, once it hits the wind, can cause particle microassilimation, which means anyone within three blocks who has allergies, sensitivities or some other congestive, respiratory pulmonary disorder could ingest a fragment and being sneezing right on the spot?

We need to contact the State Department of Agriculture and demand proof that alder and elm sawdust would be completely harmless to peoples' health before exposing hundreds of residents of varying ages and physical conditions to a nasal irritant. This is an unnecessary assault on our health and our civil liberty. They are planning to trim in January: before that we need to evacuate like in New Orleans from a chain saw assault in the magnitude of the bombing of London: let's call our city councilmen and demand a town hall meeting.

Theodore F. Meyer, Santa Cruz

Out in the Cold

FIFTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD and climbing. Only I'm climbing down into a hole I won't be able to scale. Truth, justice and the American way is truly for the comic books. Our government and policies are not helping the people. Oil, financial Institutions, taxes and politics have a stranglehold on the American people. Prices are always ahead of making a living. The Federal Reserve sees to that. And if you lose that living, there doesn't seem to be any recourse for help.

Our government will send (our) billions in aid, weapons, troops and contractors to countries that hate us and want us dead. And (we) get to pay it back. But when our financial institutions fleece the American people with outrageous interest rates and unscrupulous lending practices, our president says, "No, the government will not help the people."

This is a slap in the already beaten and battered faces of the proud people that created the most powerful country in the world out of nothing. This is the thanks we all get.

I was forced out of my job because of internal politics and power-hungry managers trying to climb the corporate ladder. After 11 years of loyal service, I was placed into a position in which I was injured while doing the work. I was 51 at the time. After I recovered, my position no longer existed. I received a letter from the company stating, "There are no positions for you."

I was offered retraining through the workers compensation system. And now I can't get hired. For anything! I've scrimped and saved as best I can to no avail. I can't meet my mortgage and bill payments. It's going to come to a sad ending very soon.

I don't want welfare, I want a job!

I know this has, and is, happening to many more people like me. I hope it doesn't happen to you.

 Jack Arneson, Santa Cruz

Meat: It's Beat

A LANDMARK STUDY recently released by the prestigious World Cancer Research Fund has found a "convincing" link between consumption of red and all processed meats and an elevated risk of colon cancer, as well as a "likely" link with cancers of the lung, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, prostate and uterus. The study was based on 7,000 diet and health reports selected from a worldwide pool of 500,000 spanning the past five decades. (For more details, visit

Since 1992, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, involving 521,483 individuals in 10 European countries, has published dozens of reports linking meat consumption with increased risk of cancers of the stomach, liver, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, colon, rectum, esophagus, lungs, breast, uterus, cervix, ovaries, prostate and testicles. Hundreds of other studies have found a correlation between meat consumption and some form of cancer. None have ever found an inverse relationship.

Like heart disease and other chronic illnesses, cancer is a largely self-inflicted condition. The American Cancer Society estimates that 62 percent of all cancer deaths could be prevented by quitting tobacco and meat products, as well as by regular screenings and exercise.

We've spent billions of dollars in search of a silver bullet to vanquish this dreaded disease, but we've had it all along. It's the will to improve our diet and lifestyle.

Steven Alderson, Santa Rosa

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