Gas Economics 01

first_img But is it safe? Re: “Drivers think smaller in response to fuel prices” (Oct. 3): I found your article in Monday’s paper to be interesting and well- written. At the same time, I feel that you overlooked one of the most significant characteristics of the 1987 Suzuki Samurai. Specifically, Consumers Reports found that the 1987 Samurai is a fundamentally unsafe vehicle due to its high center of gravity and propensity to roll over. While saving a few bucks on gas may be of short-term interest, the potential for becoming a quadriplegic as the result of unsafe vehicle design far outweighs any savings. In this regard, I feel you could have chosen to present a more balanced assessment of the 1987 Samurai. – Billy Bauman Van Nuys Bush doesn’t care Re: “Bush taps lawyer, friend” (Oct. 4): A U.S. president gone mad. Without the slightest care for the U.S. people or what we think – this man is without shame or conscience with regard to how he is raping the economy, the courts, the ecology. How in God’s name can this man keep getting away with all he’s doing. And we sit back taking the blatant horror to which he’s subjecting the people? Now it’s the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers. He is so secure he doesn’t feel the need to prove anything, including any ability she may have to be in one of the highest positions in the land. Like his FEMA appointment, this is another example of George Bush’s total lack of conscience. He does not care. It’s about the money. – Rama Fox Sherman Oaks Body obsession Re: “Arnold vetoes gay marriage” (Sept. 30): So when he campaigned for governor, Schwarzenegger said he had no problem with gay marriage. Another lying politician? Perhaps. Just when I thought there were Republicans holding office who could stop obsessing about our bodies and our bedrooms, Arnold proved me wrong by vetoing the gay-marriage bill. He’s just like the rest, lying about foreign policy, turning backs on hurricane victims, raiding schools, cities, Social Security and other pensions, while trying to distract us with discussion about women controlling their own bodies or whether two people who love each other should marry. Shame on you, governor. I hope eventually the voters learn. – Steven Afriat Sherman Oaks Different rules Re: “Tom DeLay reindicted in money-laundering case” (Oct. 4): Now let me see, Tom DeLay was indicted on a conspiracy charge, and one week later, this same DeLay is indicted on a money laundering charge. Two charges in two weeks. So far, the only penalty is for DeLay to step down from his leadership post. If I remember, some years ago, House Democrat leader Jim Wright was forced out of office and out of Washington for improper financial behavior. By the way, Wright is also from Texas. Must be something in the Texas water. Are there different rules for Republicans than for Democrats? Is corruption going to be the legacy of the George W. Bush administration? – Gene Cofsky Tarzana Don’t give us that Re: “Does the Prius make one pious?” (Oct. 3): Mariel Garza’s aw shucks, gee whiz, “four large yellow DMV stickers allowing me to drive in the car-pool lane arrived in the mail” is hybrid hypocrisy at its worst. These stickers do not just “arrive in the mail.” To the contrary, one has to fill out a special request form and mail it to the DMV. And if requesting special driving privileges over and above your fellow motorists isn’t a pious attitude, then what is? So please, Garza, spare us the hybrid hyperbole and mail the stickers back. Then join the rest of us common folk who drive “generic” cars in this unjust gridlock and maybe you’ll start hyping the merits of equal treatment for all motorists. – Robert L. Rosebrock Brentwood Fighting a giant Re: “Home Depot opposition increases” (Oct. 3): The fact that the vast majority of Sunland-Tujunga residents is so strongly opposed to the opening of a Home Depot store is what keeps myself and others going in this fight against the retail giant. Because of its mind-set of corporate arrogance, it is continuing to just ignore community sentiments. But the growing count of boycott pledges show it has failed in one of the most fundamental areas of business planning – dealing with the question, “What if our plans are wrong?” – Peter Moen Tujunga The good fight Re: “Home Depot opposition increases” (Oct. 3): Best wishes to the Sunland-Tujunga community in fighting the arrival of Home Depot. At least you have Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and Mayor Villaraigosa supporting your efforts. When Home Depot flooded a Burbank council meeting with its cadre of lawyers and consultants who insisted they simply couldn’t do business in our burg without the inclusion of an on-site, city-sanctioned “illegal alien day-care center,” our representatives rolled over like a bunch of two-bit hookers. Never mind the fact that Lowe’s, Orchard Supply Hardware and the California Do-It Center are all able to earn a profit here without one. Hang in there, you deserve better than what we got. – Dink O’Neal Burbank Government pensions Re: “Public-agency retirees sinking state’s future” (Their Opinions, Sept. 30): Gary Galles misses the main point. Whereas private-sector workers have Social Security payments to offset expenses in their retirement years, public-sector employees do not. Public workers must rely on contributions they and their employers make over their careers to CalPERS. Galles complains that the social compact with public employees (employees take lower pay in exchange for better retirement) is unfair, especially in light of the fact that nowadays private-sector employees’ salaries are moving downward. To rectify that situation, why doesn’t Galles suggest that California’s over-compensated private-sector CEOs take a drastic pay cut and pay their workers more? – Ken Wilson Valley Village Save your tears Re: “Heinous criminal” (Your Opinions, Oct. 4): I don’t remember seeing a letter from Kathryn Durfee condemning the 9-11 killers, nor the suicide bombers, nor the beheadings filmed and shown on TV. I agree we shouldn’t have shamed them. We should have just shot them, and we would not had to feed and care for their needs. Lynndie England was a scapegoat for Rumsfeld and his generals who won’t stand up for our troops. Ask any of our POWs about how well they were treated by the Germans and Japanese in World War II and the North Koreans and Chinese. And you only need to talk to John McCain about the Hanoi Hilton. Save your tears for our troops. – Ernest F. Fintor Northridge Elephants and land I have the perfect solution for the elephants at the zoo and the problem with the lack of acreage. Here in the North Valley, we have a controversial dump that is wrought with problems both of political and bad public policy. Steps will be taken soon that will force the city to jump into the current century to handle its solid-waste stream with innovative solutions. I think the city should take the 400-plus acres by eminent domain and move the elephants there. I can guarantee you the residents would welcome the elephants and the visitors. It would definitely be for the greater good of the city since the landfill is not for the greater good and in fact is the exact opposite. – Kim Thompson Granada Hills 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Re: “Beyond the pump” (Oct. 2 and Oct. 3): Substitute teacher Wendy Goldman will not take an inner-city assignment 15 miles from home. If she drove a vehicle that gets only 7.5 miles per gallon, she is giving up the $150 in pay to save $12 in gas. But since gas was never free, if gas used to be $1.50 a gallon, she is throwing away $144 net. The people who are parking their low-gas-mileage vehicles and buying fuel-efficient vehicles because they can’t afford the gas, should figure in these costs. If you buy a vehicle for $15,000 and plan to pay it off in five years, you will be paying approximately $4,000 a year, including finance charges. Add to that the cost of insurance and license fees, and you come up with probably over $5,000 a year in expenses they wouldn’t have if they continued to drive their gas guzzler. That would buy a lot of gas. – Richard Stanis Northridge last_img