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October 25-November 1, 2006

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Letters to the Editor


THE CHAIN-FAVORING FALLACY

READER HANSEN (Dogfight, Letters, Oct. 11) has it backwards. The argument advanced by opponents of the living wage that it favors chains over local businesses because chains "can absorb the additional expense" does not square with reality.

In the first place, many chains are franchises and hold themselves out as locally owned and operated, for example, Straw Hat Pizza. They get the product, business plan and advertising from the franchisor, but no help on labor costs.

In the second place, chains are ever conscious of the bottom line. If a location does not make money, it is closed. "Additional expense" is not absorbed. Visit Albertson's on Soquel Avenue. The absence of a competing supermarket within a block actually helps a local business, Shopper's Corner.

In the third place, if passing a living wage initiative favored chains, one would expect them to be in the forefront of the "Yes on G" campaign. They have huge advertising budgets. Have you seen any ads by chains?

Paying a living wage favors local businesses because it makes available more dollars to people in the community who live from one paycheck to the next, and we know those dollars will be spent locally.

Edward F. Newman, Santa Cruz

UNVEILING PROP. 85

PROPOSITION 85 is disguised as a measure that will protect our teens. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Proposition 85 is far more likely to put a teen's health at risk as teens may be driven to wait months until they're 18 before trying to abort their baby, thus risking more dangerous second trimester abortions. Furthermore, teens may feel that they need to abort their baby themselves, rather than face an abusive parent. The consequences of this are often fatal. Do we want to jeopardize the safety of our teens like this? I don't think so. Please vote no on 85 for the safety of our teens.

Willa, Santa Cruz

GROSSLY UNGREEN

HOW CAN UCSC say, as it did in its EIR for its new growth plan, that it respects all local land use regulations? The proposed growth to the upper campus, which will bring hundreds of students and faculty to this pristine area, is outside the county's Urban Services Line, as set down in the County General Plan. In effect it extends the City of Santa Cruz into the county's rural area, which is totally contrary to the General Plan. This is unacceptable and arrogant. Vote Yes on Measure J and help keep UCSC in the city and out of Bonny Doon.

Ted Benhari, Santa Cruz

VEGGIE-CONSCIOUS CORRECTION

AS A FREQUENT DINER with vegan and vegetarian groups in Santa Cruz, I was surprised to read your article about vegetarian Asian dining in the Santa Cruz area. While there are gems like Asian Rose, Jumping Monkey, Star of Siam, Sri, Xin, Mobo Sushi, Benten and Charlie Hong Kong in your list, which are favorites of our groups, there are some notable omissions and errors.

Malabar is entirely vegetarian and always packed, and yet you didn't mention it. Dharma's, also a vegetarian restaurant, always has healthy Asian dishes on its menu and some great specials--as does all-veg Saturn Café. Little Shanghai has a large selection of vegetarian lunch buffet items and dinner entrees. Red Lantern has wonderful Asian food. Vegetarian Cafe La Vie has very healthy raw and, for winter, warm Asian dishes.

Sadly, you did mention two restaurants where our groups had difficulty obtaining vegetarian food. At Golden Buddha, the waiter would not guarantee that we could have dishes without meat broth, and was quite unfriendly. After dining at O'Mei several times and being assured we were being served vegetarian food without meat broth, one of us was informed by the owner that their oil is infused with meat--a fact that the waitstaff was completely unaware of. To get vegetarian food at O'Mei, you have to ask for oil-less food. But, it's hard to believe them anymore.

Cheryl Potter, Santa Cruz

Correction

Stylists Adrianna Dougherty and Marlee McGuffick from the Tonic Salon, who did hair and makeup for the models in our Oct. 11 fashion cover story, were inadvertently left out of the credits. Metro Santa Cruz regrets the oversight and thanks them for their exceptional work.


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