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December 3-10, 2008

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Letters to the Editor

Hallelujah, He's Saved!

THANK YOU so very much for the candid and real story about Internet video gaming and addiction ("Mind Rot," Cover Story, Nov. 19). I shared it with my 27-year-old son and it felt so parallel to his experience and current struggles that he deleted his entire game identity, weapons, game relationships, etc., that he has established over the past two years. I think I could have talked for days about this in vain over the past 15 years, and this one article made all the difference in the world. Thank you again and again and again.

 Lois Keiser,
Ben Lomond


Rules Are for Cyclists, Too

I WISH TO comment on last week's short article concerning bike safety ("Two Wheels and a Prayer," Nu_z, Nov. 26). I believe it is a good start to being realistic about being aware of bike safety in our crowded town. I believe I can see both sides of the issue, for I am a biker as well as an occasional driver of a sedan. Education and adherence to established road laws are key to forming a respectful and cooperative relationship. The article mentioned some good points to both sides of the issue. Here are some that were not covered that I believe are essential.

Bikers are responsible for knowing the rules of the road and adhering to them. Some glaring infractions that I observe from my fellow bikers are: Not stopping at stop signs or before turning on red, not indicating turning intentions, riding two/three abreast in a single lane and traveling below the speed limit, thereby backing up motor traffic illegally. It is important to realize that a bike lane does not mean you can ignore motor traffic. If traffic is slow or stopped, it is usually for a good reason and you need to proceed cautiously. Be aware of increased blind spots and narrowing of the field of vision due to the increased number of oversized trucks, SUVs and vans on our streets. Bikers usually have a better (if more precarious) vantage point and more flexibility in response time. Most motorists don't wish to impede your use of the road, but try to be aware of what they have to deal with. Please know your vehicle--how to operate it and maintain it in a confident and safe manner. Do not ride while under any influence. There is nothing more nerve-wracking to a motorist than to deal with a biker who is obviously not competent or aware.

Education is the main issue for both sides. However, I must say I observe more disregard from my biking brethren. Instead of insisting on bikers' rights, let us meet together to make the roadways safe for all: bikers, motorists and pedestrians. This may include a formal DBV (department of biking vehicles) education course resulting in a license to operate a nonmotorized conveyance. This will give our police department the ability to ticket and hold responsible flagrant violators. I also believe that bikers should be made to carry liability insurance as part of being a responsible user of public roads. Motorists have no recourse other than civil legal action or adding to their claim history.

Again, I believe it's a matter of safety and common sense as opposed to being (regrettably, dead) right.

Name withheld,
Santa Cruz

Don't Dis Country

GOOD THING that is just your opinion about country music artists that supported McCain ("The New Rules," Arts, Nov. 19). Maybe your next article can be about the fake Hollywood people, ACORN and other terrorist countries that supported your boy! Country music has been around a long time and, they, just like your lackeys, have a right to their opinion.

Judy Dreisbach,
Levittown, Pa.

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