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December 13-20, 2006

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Letters to the Editor


SMART CARS, DUMB DRIVERS

I'M GLAD TO HEAR THAT the drunk parking pass is stirring debate ("Dude, Where's My Car: Tony Madrigal's proposal for drunk parking pass program stirs council debate," News&Views, Dec. 6). Here's an idea that's been tried in other cities: Rather than call a cab, the inebriated can call a two-person team to come get them. One of the two drives the caller home, the other drives the caller's car to the caller's home. The suggested donation is $20. Pricey, to be sure, but a heck of a lot less than a drunken driving arrest or, heaven forbid, an accident.

MADD has spent a lot of money to make sure inebriates are punished mightily when they are caught. However, it seems to me that if they were more committed to prevention of all drunken driving than torture of the unlucky, they would be targeting car manufacturers to install technology that would require the driver to pass a breath test before the car would start. The technology is available today; the will to add a few hundred dollars to the cost of cars is not.

Our society would be well-served to cover the cost of these "smart cars," and take the decision to drive while inebriated out of the hands of those who can least make the proper decision.

Lori Korleski Richardson (on extended vacation in Santa Cruz), Sacramento

BUCKING CITY HALL

I WAS PLEASED TO SEE COVERAGE in the last two issues of the PRT (personal rapid transit) conference spearheaded by Councilmember Ed Porter ("Porter Poddy," Nūz, Nov. 22) and the attempt to find a way to minimize drunken driving at night in Santa Cruz, as promulgated by Councilmember Tony Madrigal. I think PRT is a great idea that could drastically reduce traffic congestion in our town and simultaneously offer a way for UCSC to fund mitigation for past (and maybe future) growth impacts. (The U can no longer claim that no mitigations for traffic impacts are possible.) I haven't had time to fully consider the implications of the Madrigal proposal yet so haven't made up my mind on that idea.

I have long been aware of the tremendious inerta at City Hall against new ideas and a tendency to resist "not invented here" proposals--I believe to the great detriment of our community. The above councilmembers should be commended for attempting to resist that unproductive mentality. It's tough, even for Councilmembers, to stick their necks out to "buck City Hall." It is unfortunate, I believe, that Metro Santa Cruz has displayed a snide attitude on these matters while reporting on them. Calling the PRT article "Porter Poddy" and concluding the coverage of the Madrigal parking proposal with "Have a toast to Tony Madrigal who is brave enough to stick up for the drunks" is certainly deprecating these two public servants who should instead be thanked for trying to inprove things for all of us. I suggest your get your head out of where it obviously is and use the local news column to report the news in a professional fashion or else go to work for the Sentinel while it is still in business!

Fred J. Geiger, Santa Cruz

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY UPDATE

CONCERNING THE REVIEW by Richard von Busack, "Africa Screams" (Film, Dec. 6), I must reconsider my earlier email about his triple references to simians, rat-dogs, and killer whales! (Film, Nov. 29) ...

All is forgiven now; RvB's comments were spot on, even the continuity of method by ending the article by referencing cows and bulls! Yet, in this case of Blood Diamond, it seemed really funny and relevant. Already there is political fallout by Jane Fonda about her "conflict-free" jewelry, and she even has proper certification to prove it!! Bulls will run free in the downtown streets, Richard, before I shall spend money on this Hollywood dung! Thanks for helping me avoid stepping in this mess!

Richard Shaffer, Santa Cruz

SCREAMINGLY RELEVANT

AFTER READING THE review of Bobby, I must wonder why you think it sucks. I have been an avid film goer for thirty years, over which period of time, I confess the quality of production has decreased substantially. This is why when I saw Bobby, I was impressed with the direction, the melding of actors still cutting their chops with the honed skills of our finest elder actors, is not any easy task.

I was impressed with the writing. A tale of real people and real facts interwined with fictional people whose fates are crossed is accomplished seamlessly. To have the message of that time be so screamingly relevant to our lives today is undeniable. To remind us all of just how closely we are connected, disagreement does not have to end in violence...

It is to this end I must query the reviewer if they understood the film or simply dismissed it because Emilio Estavez created it? I remain perplexed at your insights on the film, but certainly respect your opinion.

Dina Izzo, Santa Cruz


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