Letters to the Editor for Jan 25, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
SCHWARZENEGGER’S UNHEALTHY PLAN
I never thought I’d say it, but I, too, applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger’s apparently genuine commitment to bipartisanship [“Local Spin,” Jan. 11]. I’m sick of the shrill rhetoric from the right and the left, and the Governator (I hate to even say it) came off as downright rational and civil in his State of the State address—on most subjects.
But I think his plan for health care reform sucks. And I wish John Laird and the Weekly would wake up and say so. How is requiring each citizen to purchase private health insurance supposed to solve the problem of unaffordable health insurance? Are we supposed to believe, in an era when the decks are clearly stacked in favor of big business, that the invisible hand of the market will swoop in and magically lower the cost of health insurance to the benefit of us, the unwashed masses? What, are we children? Have we learned nothing from decades of market fundamentalism that have left the middle class foundering on the banks of lower real wages, vanishing benefits and a self-flagellating myth of “self-sufficiency”?
Here’s the face of the health insurance industry today: I was approved for health insurance last year—at double the published premium—because I’m apparently a risky bet owing to a couple of minor conditions, including (no kidding) headaches. Now, I’m a yoga-doing, vegetable-eating, reasonably fit person who would rather go on a hike than watch TV. But I’m a big risk.
That’s the wisdom of the insurance industry. That’s the wisdom of the market.
Snap out of it, Laird. You too, Weekly. This is a wet kiss to the insurance industry. Call the emperor on his fancy new clothes. I dare you. —Kelly Rinehart | Monterey
MORE CONGESTION ON FREMONT
Development of the empty lot at the intersection of Fremont and Broadway has been a long time coming. The new city center will be a vast improvement over the eyesore the lot once was. However, am I alone in wondering what’s to become of the already congested traffic situation on Fremont once this center opens for business?
Anyone traveling on Fremont has already witnessed the bumper-to-bumper gridlock that occurs during peak travel times. It can take a driver 15-20 minutes to drive a three-mile distance at the wrong time of day. And as for pedestrian traffic, crossing Fremont on foot during any time of day is like playing a live action game of Frogger. Even when you cross at a stoplight you barely set one foot on the road before the light already flashes at you to stop.
And forget about any kind of pedestrian right of way. Drivers are so mad at the traffic that they would rather run over someone than take a few seconds out of the schedule to stop for a walker trying to cross.
For an area that is supposed to be pedestrian-friendly, Seaside falls miserably short of this goal. As for the traffic, it’s easy to chalk it up to growing population or any number of factors, but bad planning is the real problem. I’d hate to see Seaside follow the incompetent urban planning of the Sand City shopping centers. —Jim McAllister | Seaside
WHY PAY FOR COMMERCIALS?
Who can a regular movie-goer turn to anymore? Not only does it cost me a minimum of nearly 20 bucks to take a pal to a film, but now I must also endure a big-screen version of the same “All Access Hollywood” shows that already saturate TV. It’s like paying $9 to watch “Entertainment Tonight” 20 feet high and 50 wide. I can actually feel my brain cells liquify, as this glossy “pre-show” jives and boogies with glitzy, redundant non-content for a disturbing, maddening 25 minutes.
By the time the previews finally begin (and last for another damnable 20 minutes), I’m audibly chanting “please make it stop…please make it stop…” and nearly about to claw my own face off, having lost all hope of getting the film I arrived an hour ago to see, and whose title I’ve long-since forgotten.
What are the heads of these theaters smoking? Do they really believe these monumental piles of unimportant crap enhance their patrons’ experience? Please, Century, Galaxy, UA, heed these four little words from someone who is already weary, sickened and ready to abandon my patronage of your establishments because of this blight on your screens: Just play da movie! —Rob Foster | Monterey