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June 10-17, 2009

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An Open Letter to the President

I STRONGLY supported you even before you announced. Wise, reasonable and, I thought, sharing my views on the war. Getting our kids out of the hornet's nest was my top priority. War to me is evil and mad; maybe sometimes unavoidable, I don't know, but horrible.

I know it's not simple, but nothing could be more important than stopping that shattering of minds and bodies and families. Not the economy, nothing.

Of course I can't tell you the answer to getting out sooner, but I think you have the head and the heart for it if anyone does. If it's a question of the recession going on an extra year or war going on an extra year, please put peace first.

Everyone should have a warm bed to sleep in and enough to be properly nourished. No one should be sent in to have their brains blown away or damaged inside their helmets. Our bombs should not be shattering other people's innocent children either.

 Carol Straus,
Santa Cruz


Science Won't Save Us

OUR CULTURE is impressed with future inventions such as the sleek Hovercar 3000 that uses garbage as fuel. We look forward, confident that scientists are busy experimenting with brightly colored vials while we sleep, solving crises as they arise. This may be true. Renewable science is growing, but we cannot rely on the future; so far most modern technology has only created more problems: fast cars pollute the atmosphere, cellular towers radiate cancer and pesticides bioaccumulate up the food chain until human breastmilk is contaminated.

Technology is not going to save us, but it may help us. Consider Rizhao, the solar encrusted China city, where the government has subsidized solar power for funded research that produces superior models. Here, 99 percent of homes have solar heating--but remember that solar panels use cadmium, a byproduct of copper that is toxic to humans. 

We've begun the heavy climb to a balanced existence with the earth, but in the meantime, let's turn down the A/C, buy local food and live by the hundreds of "green" tips found online, until the scientists solve all our problems. When that happens, I'll take the Hovercar 3000 in inferno red.

Sammy Vanek,

Think of The Hens

IF OUT-OF-STATE egg producers don't want their eggs to rot away in the supermarkets, they should at least give their hens enough space to spread their wings. California voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 2 because we believe that it's unethical to cram birds in tiny, filthy cages. For that reason, we should support A.B. 1437--the bill that will require out-of-state egg companies to comply with our more humane standards. I believe that the best way to help hens is to not buy eggs at all, but if A.B. 1437 passes, it will help lessen the suffering of countless hens around the country, and that's something everyone, everywhere can get behind.

Laura Frisk,

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